Sri Lanka complain to ICC about ‘unfair’ pitches
London, June 14: Sri Lanka manager Ashantha de Mel on Friday complained to the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the "unfair" pitches provided for the island nation's matches in the ongoing World Cup so far.
He also highlighted the poor condition of training facilities and accommodation.
"What we have found out is that for the four matches we have played so far at Cardiff and Bristol, the ICC prepared green pitches," he told Daily News as reported by ESPNCricinfo.
"At the same venues, the other countries have played on pitches which were brown and favourable for high scoring.
"The pitch being prepared for our match against Australia on Saturday 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," de Mel said.
Sri Lanka's two most recent matches were washed out in Bristol. The Lankans began their campaign on two green decks in Cardiff, where they lost to New Zealand and beat Afghanistan.
"Even the practice facilities provided at Cardiff were unsatisfactory. Instead of three nets, they gave us only two. Also, the hotel where we put up at Bristol did not have a swimming pool, which is very essential for every team, especially for the fast bowlers to relax their muscles after practice.
"The hotels that Pakistan and Bangladesh were put up at Bristol had swimming pools. We wrote to the ICC listing all these shortcomings four days ago but so far we have not had any response from them. We will continue to write to them until we get a reply," de Mel said.
The ICC, on its part, has denied the allegations saying that pitches were overseen by an independent advisor.
"We employ an independent pitch advisor to work with the host curators at all ICC events and the ICC Men's World Cup 2019 is no different," an event spokesperson was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
"We are happy with the wickets that have been produced across the event so far in English conditions.
"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 10 teams are treated equally to enable them to have the best possible preparation for the event," the spokesperson said.