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Guidelines given to T20 hosting venues to prepare batting tracks

The track for the opening Super 10 Group 2 encounter in the ICC World Twenty20 here on March 15 is likely to be a batting-friendly wicket, unlike the VCA Stadium pitch that was on offer during the third India-South Africa Test match late last year.

The track at the stadium situated on the Nagpur-Wardha road that was used for the third Test between India and South Africa was given a “poor” rating by the ICC match referee, Jeff Crowe in his report.

India clinched the match by 124 runs inside three days with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin leading the hosts’ charge with an 11-wicket haul, supported well by the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and leggie Amit Mishra.

The ICC later announced that the stadium has been given an official warning under the ICC’s Pitch Monitoring process following the third Test held in November, 2015.

In reaching the verdict, the ICC agreed with the “poor” rating given to the pitch by New Zealand’s Crowe, the match referee for the Test played from November 25 to 27, who observed that it did not allow a fair contest between bat and the ball.

The finding was made by ICC General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and ICC chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, after watching footage of the match, reviewing the post-match reports from Crowe, and considering the response provided by the BCCI.

But the upcoming India-New Zealand T20 game would see a track which is oriented towards batsmen, VCA sources told PTI on Sunday.

“The ICC has given us clear guidelines that the tracks for the World T20 matches should be batsmen-oriented. We are strictly following these instructions. These matches are Twenty20 games and not Tests,” sources said.

Ranjan Madugalle will be the match referee for the India-New Zealand game while the umpires appointed for it are Richard Illingworth, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus and Nigel Llong.

“The centre square will be used for the game,” the sources said, adding that although it had rained last evening during the match between Scotland and Hong Kong, the forecast for Tuesday was for a rain-free evening.
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