Tom Moody & Andy Flower’s criticism of the Trinidad pitch has ICC in the dock!

Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody has sparked controversy about the first semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 between South Africa and Afghanistan through his sharp remarks.

Tom Moody & Andy Flower's criticism of the Trinidad pitch
Tom Moody & Andy Flower’s criticism of the Trinidad pitch

He has strongly criticized the pitch of Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Trinidad. He said that the surface of this pitch was very inconsistent, making it difficult for the bowlers to bounce and making it an undesirable situation for the batsmen.

Notably, South Africa bowled out Afghanistan for just 56 runs with their brilliant bowling and secured their place in the final.

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Tom Moody said on ESPNcricinfo’s Timeout show:

“I don’t think you want to see that in any sport, to be honest. You want a fair contest between bat and ball and I’m not saying we need a surface where you need to score 200 runs on it. But you need consistent bounce, that’s the most important thing. Any batsman will put his hand up and say that’s the most important thing.”

“If you have a ball that’s hitting the toe of your bat or you feel like you’re going to hit the ball at the same length with your glove, that’s a very difficult challenge to deal with. If your ball has sideways movement or swing or spin, that’s a different challenge, but at least there’s some consistency and you can come up with some kind of strategy and method to deal with it and I don’t think that was good enough.”

“I covered two games in Trinidad at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and the surface was pretty much the same. You see this kind of peculiar paving, if I may put it that way, where there was a lot of thick grass gathered around those cracks and you could just tell that that was what led to the inconsistency of bounce. So, that will be something they will consider, if not already considering it and thinking, okay, we’ve got this wrong,”

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Former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Flower’s thoughts:

“You saw some interesting sight shots from over square and some of the commentators said that it was a brand new pitch and maybe they could have used a pitch that had been used before and so you knew it needed a certain kind of bounce.”

“It’s definitely a bit more consistent and predictable, but those shots did show that crazy paving-type effect and those blocks and the cracks around those blocks produced this wild variation in bounce. And as a batsman, you’re trying to predict where the ball is going. You want to meet it somewhere in the middle of the bat at least.”

“And on this pitch, it was almost impossible to do that on any consistent basis. I thought it was a bit dangerous actually. Some of the balls flew around shoulder, neck, chin height of the South African fast bowlers and one of those balls flew over the head and gloves of Quinton de Kock, the keeper, for four byes, and I’m glad nobody got hurt.”

“We saw a similar pitch in New York early in the competition, which just wasn’t good enough for international-class fast bowlers. And then we saw that again today and it created a complete mismatch.” “And you can’t blame Afghanistan for what they did at the toss. They had a great record of batting first and then defending with their own very good, varied attack. But it was really difficult to bat first there. You didn’t know what a good score would be and they just flew.”

In this controversial matter, the ICC has started an investigation about the pitch and it is likely that the situation will be resolved soon.

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