Mumbai willing to forego Champions Trophy final after dusty wicket
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 18th October 2006
The International Cricket Council will be requested to shift the
Champions Trophy final from the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai if the
wicket does not improve, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Cricket Club of India (CCI) president Raj Singh Dungarpur, whose club
oversees the Brabourne stadium, said he was unhappy at the dusty wicket
that had been laid out for the matches.
"With the monsoon having just ended, our staff did not get enough time
to prepare good wickets for the tournament," Dungarpur told reporters.
"We will see how the wicket behaves on Wednesday when Australia plays
the West Indies. If it still has low bounce, I will put my hands up. I
will ask the ICC to shift the final, scheduled to be held here on
November 5, to some other venue."
The wickets for the two matches played so far at the Brabourne stadium
have been ridiculed by the teams for its dry, dusty surface which
Brian Lara's West Indies could only muster 80 runs against Sri Lanka on
Saturday and on Monday South African captain Graeme Smith slammed the
pitch after his team went down to New Zealand by 87 runs.
"The pitch broke up, the ball turned a hell of a lot. I don't think the
pitches are going to provide 100 overs of good cricket," said Smith,
whose side is ranked second behind Australia in the one-day game.
New Zealand, who were restricted to 195, hit back to bowl South Africa
out for 108 in 34.1 overs as the ball kept low and spun alarmingly.
"We take pride in the wickets we have prepared in the past at the
Brabourne stadium," Dungarpur said. "So it pains me to see it behave
like this. I can't blame anyone. My staff has tried its best to make a
sporting wicket in the short time available. But it has not worked."
The Brabourne stadium hosted Test cricket till 1972-73 till the Mumbai
Cricket Association built its own Wankhede stadium nearby and began
holding international matches there from 1974-75.
The Wankhede stadium was ruled out as a venue for the Champions Trophy
because of the ICC's regulations that want a "clean" stadium free of
private advertising commitments.
That was the reason why some of the best cricket stadia in India, like
the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Chepauk in Chennai and the Chinaswamy
stadium in Bangalore were also left out.
The Champions Trophy matches are being held in three other venues
besides the Brabourne stadium - the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur,
the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad and the Punjab Cricket Association
ground in Mohali.
The Brabourne stadium has so far hosted two matches, the final
qualifying match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies on Oct 14 and
the opening group B match between New Zealand and South Africa on
It is also due to host another group B game between New Zealand and Sri
Lanka on Friday after Wednesday's group A clash between Australia and
the West Indies.