ICC attempt to defend quality of tournament pitches and facilities dealt to Lankan team

15 June 2019 - 508   - 0

World Cup organizers desperately attempted to defend the quality of the tournament pitches and facilities following repeated complaints from Sri Lanka.

By Champika Fernando in UK

World Cup organizers desperately attempted to defend the quality of the tournament pitches and facilities following repeated complaints from Sri Lanka.

Team Manager Asantha de Mel had questioned the quality of the pitches, practice facilities, transport and accommodation offered to them during the 10-team tournament. On Friday de Mel made the second complaint to the World Cup organizers after a pitch inspection where another green top has been prepared for Saturday’s clash against the Australians.

“Look this is a World Cup and we expect all ten teams to be treated equally. But unfortunately we have been at the receiving end,” de Mel told Times Online. “This can’t be a coincident as they (Organizers) say.

On Friday De Mel was seen taking pictures of the green pitch to support his official complaint.

"The pitch being prepared for our match against Australia on Saturday here at the Oval is green. It is not sour grapes that we are complaining but it is very unfair on the part of the ICC that they prepare one type of wicket for certain teams and another type for others."

When question, the ICC denied such ill-treatment.

“ We employ an independent pitch advisor to work with the host curators at all ICC events and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 is no different. We are happy with the wickets that have been produced across the event so far in English conditions,” the ICC said in a statement.

“As part of the four year planning process to deliver this event, we have liaised with all teams to ensure they are happy with their set up and are available to work with them should any issues arise that have not been previously anticipated.  At the heart of our planning is the philosophy that all ten teams are treated equally to enable them to have the best possible preparation for the event.”

De Mel criticised Sri Lanka's team bus, saying it was more cramped than the double-decker vehicles provided to other teams and also the hotel facilities in Bristol which lacks a swimming pool.

“We have about 31 people in our group and we have got a 35 seater bus. It’s not easy when we have to travel long distance. Also swimming pool facility is very important for recovery and while all other teams had this facility, we didn’t get this. Can this be a coincident as they say,” De Mel questioned.

Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand in their first World Cup match, then beat Afghanistan before successive games against Bangladesh and Pakistan were washed out.

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