The fifth One Day International between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned after 23.3 overs because the pitch at the Ferozeshah Kotla was deemed unfit and dangerous.

Sri Lanka was 83 for the loss of five wickets when play was stopped. The concern the players and officials had with the re-laid pitch was with its uneven and unpredictable bounce, which was proving dangerous for the batsmen.

Captains M.S. Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara, umpires Marais Erasmus and Shavir Tarapore, and Match Referee Alan Hurst convened to discuss the condition of the pitch. Hurst arrived at the decision to abandon the match after further discussions with curator Vijay Bahadur Mishra, BCCI Pitches Committee head Daljit Singh and Delhi District Cricket Association officials. Play was stopped at 11.20 a.m., and was officially abandoned at 12.30 p.m.

In a statement explaining the reasoning behind his decision, Hurst said, “the decision to abandon the match was taken by me, in consultation with the on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Shavir Tarapore, and both captains, as it was clear that the pitch had extremely variable bounce and was too dangerous for further play.”

Hurst also added that consideration was given to shifting the match to a secondary pitch, but that it wasn’t possible because the pitch wasn’t adequately prepared.

Following the abandonment of the match, the BCCI dissolved its Ground and Pitches Committee with immediate effect.

Arun Jaitley, Delhi District Cricket Association president apologised to the spectators for the inconvenience caused, and announced that all gate ticket amounts would be refunded.

The DDCA would await the International Cricket Council’s verdict on the pitch condition and the abandonment. The ICC’s Code of Conduct regarding poor pitches states that the first such breach should be met with “a suspension of the venue’s international status for a period of between 12 and 24 months together with a directive for appropriate remedial action and the need for prior ICC re-accreditation as an international venue.”

The only previous instance of a One Day International being abandoned because of an unfit pitch was in 1997 in Indore. The match between India and Sri Lanka was called off after three overs.


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