On ‘BCCI Interference In Pitch Selection’, Sunil Gavaskar’s No-Nonsense Verdict

File photo of Sunil Gavaskar.© PTI

India’s hopes of winning a third World Cup title and ending a 12-year drought for an ICC trophy came to a tame end last week as Australia defeated the Rohit Sharma-led side by six wickets in the final. India’s dominance throughout the tournament, where they won 10 games on the trot, including a 70-run win over New Zealand in the semi-final, came to an end in the final, thanks to brilliant bowling and fielding exploits from the Australians.

India’s road to the World Cup final was also overshadowed by a “pitch swapping” controversy after reports had claimed that ICC head curator had accused the BCCI for changing the track for the semi-final against the Kiwis.

However, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has labelled the accusations as “pretty irrelevant”.

“The accusation of BCCI interference in the selection of the pitches for India matches again was pretty irrelevant, as the ICC pitch consultant was around, and only after the ICC gave its approval was the match played on the pitch,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.

Gavaskar added that the controversy was put to bed in the semi-final itself when pacer Mohammed Shami bagged seven wickets on a pitch deemed helpful for spinners.

“Nothing in the playing conditions say that for the knockout games, a fresh pitch had to be used, so just because India’s matches were played on previously used pitches didn’t mean there was any hanky-panky. That was proven conclusively in the semifinals, where the allegation of a dry pitch to suit the Indian spinners was made, but more than 725 runs were scored, and a fast bowler took seven wickets for India,” he added.

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