The International Cricket Council (ICC) has strongly denied the step motherly treatment claims made by Sri Lanka Cricket manager Asantha De Mel.
“We employ an independent pitch advisor to work with the host curators at all ICC events and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 is no different. We are happy with the wickets that have been produced across the event so far in English conditions.
As part of the four year planning process to deliver this event, we have liaised with all teams to ensure they are happy with their set up and are available to work with them should any issues arise that have not been previously anticipated. At the heart of our planning is the philosophy that all ten teams are treated equally to enable them to have the best possible preparation for the event” ICC replied to a mail sent by Cricket Age, regarding the step motherly treatment claims made by Sri Lanka team manager Asantha De Mel.
Earlier in the week, Sri Lanka had officially complained to the ICC for the manner in which their team is being treated in the ongoing 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Team manager Ashantha de Mel said that they had written to the ICC complaining about the type of pitches prepared for the Lankan matches, the practice facilities, the hotels and the type of transport provided for the team.
“This is a World Cup where the top ten countries are taking part and I feel that all the participants should be treated equally,” said De Mel.
“What we have found out is that for the four matches we have played so far at Cardiff and Bristol the ICC has prepared a green pitch, and at the same venues where the other countries have played the pitches are brown and favourable for high scoring,” pointed out De Mel.
The manager was referring particularly to the match between England and Bangladesh at Cardiff where 666 runs were scored (England 386/6; Bangladesh 280) and Australia v India at the Oval where both teams topped 300 runs and a total of 668 runs was scored on flat brown pitches.
“The pitch being prepared for our match against Australia on Saturday here at the Oval is green. It is not (a case of) sour grapes that we are complaining but it is very unfair on the part of the ICC that they prepare one type of wicket for certain teams and another type for others,” said De Mel.
The manager further pointed out that even the bus that has been assigned to transport the Lankan team is a small and cramped up one with less seating capacity whereas for instance Pakistan have been given a spacious double-decker bus.
“Even the practice facilities provided at Cardiff were unsatisfactory. Instead of three nets they gave us only two and the hotel we were put up at Bristol did not have a swimming pool, which is very essential for every team for the fast bowlers especially to relax their muscles after practice. The hotels that Pakistan and Bangladesh were put up at Bristol had swimming pools,” pointed out De Mel.
“We wrote to the ICC listing all these shortcomings four days ago but so far we have not had any response from them. We will continue to write to them until we get a reply,” he said.
De Mel was also quite critical of the timing of the World Cup being held in the early part of the summer that has resulted in several matches being affected by bad weather. Sri Lanka had both their matches played at Bristol against Pakistan and Bangladesh abandoned without a ball being bowled, while only 7.3 overs were bowled in the match between South Africa and West Indies at Southampton.
“What they should have done is played the Ashes series first and then held the World Cup in the latter part of the summer which is generally dry. It seems like the Ashes has more clout than a World Cup,” De Mel said.