Ricky Ponting on use of new pitch for SA vs AFG match

The pitch at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, which was used for the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup on Wednesday and saw Afghanistan crash to their lowest ever T20I total, has come under sharp criticism from various experts. The pitch had unpredictable bounce and that made it very challenging for the batsmen to bat from both sides.

During the pitch report, it was evident that the grass cover would aide movement. The former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting suggested that bounce or lack of it could well be a factor. This turned out to be true as South Africa’s seamers like Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje capitalized on the conditions and took them through to their maiden T20 World Cup final appearance.

“It seems strange to me that you’ll use a brand new wicket for a semifinal one that you’ve actually got no idea about how it’s going to play. We heard the preparation for this wicket started about a week and a half,” Ponting told the host broadcaster.

The former player was also not happy with the uneven bounce that the pitch had to offer and said that, “There was a game early in the tournament – West Indies and New Zealand – which was a 150 plays 140 type game. And at least they had some sort of idea of how that wicket was going play. I know the ball swung that night. That’s okay. You can deal with that. But the variation in bounce and seam that we’ve seen here, I’m not sure if I’m the groundsman, I’ll be experimenting with something like that in such a big moment.”

The ICC will have to answer a lot of questions regarding the various questionable pitches on which matches were played during the T20 World Cup.

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