Kingston, Aug 3 - Following is the scoreboard of the second Test between India and…
In 2008, curator Shiv Kumar allegedly took the blame when the International Cricket Council (ICC) not only accused the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) of laying an underprepared wicket, but also threatened to impose a blanket ban on the Green Park after South Africa’s loss in the third Test within three days.
From the first delivery, the pitch was a mystery for Graeme Smith’s men when they chose to bat.
Smith and Hashim Amla struck half-centuries in difficult conditions, but the others found Ishant Sharma (3 wickets), Harbhajan Singh (3 wkts) and Piyush Chawla (2 wkts) tough to handle.
Sensing the behaviour of the pitch, skipper Sourav Ganguly chose to start with Harbhajan (4 wkts) in the second innings and got the result when South Africa collapsed for 121 in 55.5 overs. India achieved the target in 13.1 overs to script an eight-wicket win. Part-timer Virendra Sehwag too had three wickets in the innings.
The ‘pitch fiasco’ sent alarm bells ringing and the UPCA re-laid the turf with emphasis on bounce and speed. “Certainly, it was a bad dream. The happening taught me many things and since then I have decided not to risk the match again,” Shiv Kumar told HT on Tuesday.
He, however, refused to name those responsible for the 2008 pitch fiasco, but claimed amid the talk of a spinning track for the first Test, the Green Park pitch this time would have equal opportunities for both the sides at least for the first two days of the historical 500th Test.
“Home advantage is what one likes to avail in a Test. India have quality spinners, but it doesn’t mean I should create a pitch where the ball starts turning from Day One,” said Shiv Kumar.
“We have strict guidelines from the ICC and BCCI on pitch planning and I am not going to risk the future of this ground with a rank turner.”