Atkinson urges BCB to commit to long-term pitch planning

Sports Correspondent

5 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

International Cricket Council (ICC) pitch consultant Andy Atkinson said that Bangladesh need a long-term pitch plan to address the chronic issue of below-par wickets.

According to Atkinson, Bangladesh’s international cricket grounds seem to be developed in a lot of hurry only before international series. Pitch curators do not spend much time doing maintenance during the rest of the year. Curators even often water the pitch as part of their pitch preparation before the series. This is a horrible practice which makes life difficult for Bangladeshi cricketers.

“Bangladesh have to do nothing new here. They should prepare the pitch which an international cricket ground requires. You should avoid watering the ground during training because it will harm the grounds. This protocol should be followed not just during international matches but all year round. Focus should be given to long-term pitch planning,” ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson told reporters on Tuesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

 Atkinson arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday as a part of ICC’s routine program. He is running a three-day workshop with curators and enlightening domestic curators by teaching them how to improve the state of cricket grounds of Bangladesh. He also visited Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium grounds during the break of the workshop.

Former umpire-turned-curator Gamini de Silva has been in charge of Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium since 2011.

He was subject to some harsh criticism for producing slow wickets during Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament in November. He was also blamed for bad-wicket after Bangladesh suffered defeat against Sri Lanka in Tri-nation series in Bangladesh this year.

The ground also came under scrutiny from the International Cricket Council, which rated its outfield as “poor” after Bangladesh beat Australia in a Test match in August-September last year.