Lucknow pitch curator sacked after preparing ‘shocker wicket’

The curator of Lucknow’s Ekana Cricket Stadium was fired for creating a slow, twisting wicket for the second T20 International between India and New Zealand. India clinched the second T20I with just one ball to spare while chasing a mere target of 100. When criticising the pitches provided for the second T20I against New Zealand, India all-rounder and stand-in captain Hardik Pandya didn’t hold back. Following his side’s hard-fought six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20I, India skipper said that the game went down to the wire and the surface was a “shocker of a wicket”, which is not suitable for the shorter format. “I always believed that we will be able to finish the game, but it went quite late. All these games are important with the moments. You do not need to panic because it was about rotating the strike rather than taking the pressure. That’s exactly what we did. We followed our basics,” said Pandya in a post-match presentation. “To be honest, it was a shocker of a wicket. Both the games we have played so far. I do not 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.” The skipper admitted that even 120 would have been a winning total for any side on this surface. “Bowlers – they stuck to their plans and ensured they did not rotate the strike. We kept rotating the spinners. Dew did not play much part in this. They were able to spin the ball more than us. It was carrying through well,” concluded Pandya. Coming to the match, star batter of India Suryakumar Yadav and captain Hardik Pandya held their nerves to guide India to a hard-fought 6-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second T20I encounter here at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday

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