The Indian cricket board in its bid to defend the Ferozeshah Kotla from being banned for World Cup matches has questioned match referee Alan Hursts’ report on the pitch fiasco in its draft reply to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The top brass of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met here to draft the reply to the ICC’s showcause over the dangerous Kotla track, which resulted in the abandonment of the fifth and the final ODI against Sri Lanka in Delhi, December 27.

BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) president Arun Jaitley were also present in the meeting.

A top BCCI official told IANS that BCCI, in its draft reply has stressed on the fact that the “pitch might be poor but it was not unfit for playing.” Hurst had reportedly in his report had said that the Kotla pitch was unfit.

The BCCI has apparently based its report on the fact that the match continued till the 24th over before the officials deemed the track dangerous for playing. The draft reply also says that of the 130-odd balls bowled, only a few behaved dangerously.

The venue faces strict sanctions, ranging from warning to a fine to a ban of 12-24 months from the ICC.

ICC chief match refree Ranjan Madugalle and general manager (cricket) Dave Richardson will decide on the sanctions after they receive the reply from the BCCI. If the BCCI is successful in convincing the duo that the track was poor then they may escape with a fine of just $15,000.

Keywords: BCCIICCDDCAFerozeshah Kotla

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