The curator of the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow has reportedly been sacked following the pitch debacle in the second T20I between India and New Zealand where the two sides, on an extremely slow and low wicket, amassed a total of 200 runs in 39.5 overs. The game was the first ever instance in a completed T20I in India in which there were no sixes hit.
According to a PTI report, the curator that prepared the wicket for the second T20I has been fired and replaced by the experienced Sanjeev Kumar Agarwal.
"The curator has been removed and replaced by Sanjeev Kumar Agarwal who is a very experienced curator," a UPCA source was quoted as saying by PTI.
"We will turn things around in a month.
"A lot of domestic cricket was already played on all the centre wickets ahead of the T20I and the curator should have left one or two strips for an international game. The surface was overused and due to the bad weather, there was not enough (time) to prepare a fresh wicket."
While there was excessive turn in the wicket, what majorly contributed to the dull nature of the contest was the slowness of the pitch. The first T20I in Ranchi also offered plenty of turn for the slower bowlers, but the bounce being true meant that the batters were able to cash in against the quicks; as a result, a total of 331 runs were scored in the first game.
However, the Lucknow wicket being sticky, slow and two-paced meant that the batters had no way out. Such was the lop-sided nature of the wicket that Suryakumar Yadav was named Man of the Match for scoring 26 off 31 balls, his innings overseeing a solitary boundary.
The wicket was called out in the aftermath of the contest by India skipper Hardik Pandya, who labeled the pitch a ‘shocker’.
“To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket,” Pandya said.
“I don't mind difficult wickets. I am all up for that, but these two wickets are not made for T20. Somewhere down the line the curators or the grounds that we are going to play in should make sure they prepare the pitches earlier.”