The curator of the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow has been removed from his job after preparing a “shocker of a pitch” for the second T20I against New Zealand. Though India won the game on Sunday with a ball to spare, skipper Hardik Pandya did not mince his words, calling the Lucknow wicket a “shocker”. New Zealand was restricted to 99 for eight and India had a hard time chasing the small target on a turning track. “The curator has been removed and replaced by Sanjeev Kumar Agarwal who is a very experienced curator. We will turn things around in a month.
“A lot of domestic cricket was already played on all the center wickets ahead of the T20I and the curator should have left one or two strips for an international game. The surface was overused and due to the bad weather, there was not enough (time) to prepare a fresh wicket,” a UPCA source told PTI.
Agarwal, who has prepared pitches in Bangladesh in the past before being removed in October last year, has been tasked to set things right as far as pitch-making is concerned. He will work closely with veteran BCCI curator Taposh Chatterjee, said the source.
The T20I series decider will be played in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Hardik has not been happy with the surfaces on offer so far in the series.
“To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket. Both the games we have played so far. I don’t mind difficult wickets. I am all up for that, but these two wickets are not made for T20. Somewhere down the line, the curators or the grounds that we are going to play in should make sure they prepare the pitches earlier,” Hardik had said after the six-wicket win in Lucknow.