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© Andhra Cricket Association

India vs New Zealand | Fifth ODI in Vizag to be shifted to Nagpur?

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SportsCafe Desk

Last Wednesday at 2:42 PM

The BCCI will send in a pitch curator on Wednesday to inspect the surface for the 5th ODI in Vizag after complaints lodged by Assam's Ranji team about uneven bounce on the pitch. The BCCI said they have five to six alternate venues and the VCA Stadium in Nagpur could be the most likely one.

India’s fifth ODI against New Zealand which is scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam on October 29 might be shifted to an alternate venue due to concerns over the pitch.

The issue had been raised during the Ranji game between Assam and Rajasthan held on October 13 at the ACA-VDCA Stadium. After two of normal cricket, the pitch saw uneven bounce on the third day occasionally shooting as low as ankle high, as 17 wickets fell on the third day, ending the match. According to Assam’s coach Sunil Joshi, the pitch that will be readied for the 5th ODI between India and New Zealand could be in worse condition. After negligence from the authorities to cover the surfaces during rains, the pitch has become completely uneven according to Joshi.

The secretary Andhra Cricket Association G Gangaraju has accepted that there were problems with the track as it was newly re-laid.

“The pitch was re-laid four months back but because of the rains they couldn’t prepare it properly. The BCCI would be sending a curator/inspector, likely on Wednesday, for inspection and he will decide if the pitch is good enough to host the fifth ODI,” Gangaraju told The Indian Express.

 On Wednesday, MV Sridhar, general manager cricket operations of the BCCI, will pick a curator to inspect the pitch.

However, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has assured that there will be no problem as the Board has listed stand-by options in case of any eventuality. 

“I’m not aware of the development,” Shirke said.

“But we have many venues as stand-bys. We put at least five-six venues in the stand-by list at the planning stage. So it won’t be a problem at all.

The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur could be the most likely venue if the match is shifted. Previously, Nagpur had hosted the World T20 group stage match between India and New Zealand which the Kiwis won by 47 runs.