T20 World Cup 2024: New York Pitch — Dangerous, Unplayable & Substandard

T20 World Cup 2024: The New York pitch is termed as “shocking” and “borderline dangerous” after India’s 8-wicket victory over Ireland; as batsmen of both the teams experienced injuries on 5th June 2024. Josh Little’s short ball delivery caused the Indian captain Rohit Sharma to a shoulder injury and forced him to retire out. Also, the energetic Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant had to get treatment after the ball hit on his arm.

“Substandard Pitch” is what players and commentators feel about Nassau County Stadium

USA’s initial introduction to international cricket is eventually turning out to be far away from success because the pitches set up in New York have recently come under serious attention. However, many cricketing members voiced out against their unpredictable and unimpressive nature. Also, the most recently constructed Nassau County Stadium in New York which is going to host its inaugural international matches, is said to be a “substandard pitch”. Hence, it has left the commentators and players questioning about the venue’s suitability for high-profile matches.

Difficult and Dangerous Batting: India vs. Ireland in 1st Match of T20 World Cup 2024

In the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, India’s opening match against Ireland on 5th June 2024 where the Men in Blue team achieved a victory by 8 wickets within 13 overs remaining, chasing down a relatively low target of 97 runs. However, the focus was less on the winning and more on unpredictable and dangerous pitch conditions that affected the game.

After 2 days, South Africa bowled Sri Lanka out for 77, whereas India bowled Ireland out for 96. This game used a different strip but the ball bounce was fluctuating. And the batting turned out to be difficult and of course dangerous.

Whereas during Ireland’s innings, Indian pace bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh delivered bouncers above the head height that hardly reached wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Therefore, these unpredictable pitch conditions make it impossible for batsmen to understand and play their own natural game. With a sharp rising delivery, Paul Stirling became a victim, which resulted in a top-edge catchout. Whereas, Arshdeep’s bouncer hit Harry Tector on his gloves, which made him shake off his pain before getting out by Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery.

Batsmen were continuously facing the New York pitch’s unpredictable nature, which didn’t seem to change throughout the innings. Especially in the 16th over, Arshdeep’s bouncer flying above Benjamin White’s head resulted in a “no-ball” for too many bouncers.

Concerns about Injury in the New York Pitch

The New York pitch’s dangerous surface came into more attention; especially after Indian captain Rohit Sharma had to forcefully leave after retiring out. It was Josh Little’s delivery that hit Rohit Sharma on his upper arm. After this, fans and team management began to concern and worry about the player’s natural gameplay getting affected.

In addition to this, even the Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant got injured on his elbow during the 11th over. But Rishabh Pant had got his quick treatment done and bravely got back to his innings and scored a winning six. However, fans and management are expecting further updates regarding both players’ well-being and other physical condition. Hence, these situations have made everyone think with serious concerns about the player’s safety on this dangerous pitch.

Unplayable Drop-in-Pitch of the Nassau County Stadium in New York

The first and foremost point to note is that the Nassau County stadium has a drop-in pitch, with 4 major pitches and 6 drop-in surfaces. These drop-in surfaces were created in the Australian city of Adelaide, transported to Florida, and then set up for the 2024 T20 World Cup in New York.

Generally, these Drop-in pitches will need some time to settle properly, as even the commentator Ravi Shastri has mentioned the drop-in surface developer’s promise of improvement over time. However, the present scenario of the pitch condition seems to be very tricky throughout the match for both teams.

New York Pitch’s Slower Outfield

With Ireland getting all out for 96 runs became the 2nd consecutive sub-100 score of this venue, followed by Sri Lanka’s all out in 77 runs against South Africa.

Hence, these low scores indicate the batting challenges due to the current pitch conditions. Because of these circumstances, Nassau County Stadium’s outfield is being criticized.

Experts Slam the New York Pitch

Many experts including Michael Vaughan and Andy Flower are expressing their strong disappointment about the pitch condition at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium; especially during the 2024 T20 World Cup match between India and Ireland.

Here is what the former England coach Andy Flower said about the New York Pitch to the ESPNCricInfo:

“Well…This is highly dangerous.  I have got to tell you that it is not at all an appropriate surface to play an international match because it is too dangerous. As you can see the ball bounces unusually high and hits the player on his thumb, gloves, and helmet which makes batsmen’s gameplay very difficult and risky.”

Also, Michael Vaughan took this issue to the world through his post on his official X account, saying: “Such a shocking surface!! It is great trying to sell the game in the States… loved it, but it is unacceptable that players will have to play on this substandard surface of the New York pitch. A player works hard to make it to the World Cup, but has to play on this dangerous pitch?.”

Is the 2024 T20 World Cup Proving Tough For Batsmen?

Conclusion

Serious Concerns are rising about the New York pitch and player safety on this pitch. Especially with the upcoming India vs Pakistan match; where Pakistan is said to have some of the fastest bowlers in the world. Most importantly, the unpredictable bounce could become a serious risk of injury to the batsmen of both teams. During the India vs Ireland match we witnessed that a few balls hit the batsmen severely on the gloves, arm, and head.

Let us wait and watch what happens in the upcoming India vs. Pakistan match.

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