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Mark Butcher says ‘ICC basically does whatever BCCI says’

Mark Butcher says ‘ICC basically does whatever BCCI says’

Mark Butcher says ‘ICC basically does whatever BCCI says’

Mark Butcher says ‘ICC basically does whatever BCCI says’

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  • Butcher criticizes BCCI for pitch controversy in India vs. New Zealand World Cup semi-final.
  • Unused pitch switched without ICC approval.
  • ICC defends, citing common practice, raising suspicions of BCCI influence.
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In a dramatic turn of events during the World Cup semi-final clash between India and New Zealand at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, allegations of pitch manipulation have emerged, with former England batter Mark Butcher strongly criticizing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for allegedly influencing the pre-approved pitch selection.

India secured a commanding victory against New Zealand, posting a formidable 397-4 in their batting innings, thanks to centuries from Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer. However, the spotlight shifted away from the on-field brilliance as controversy surrounded the last-minute pitch change.

Originally, pitch number seven, unused in the World Cup, was designated for the semi-final. Still, it was purportedly switched to pitch number six, where two previous World Cup matches had already taken place. The change allegedly occurred without consulting the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) independent pitch consultant, Andy Atkinson, leading to accusations that the alteration was made to favor the Indian team.

The ICC responded to the controversy by releasing a statement, asserting that changes to pitch rotations are common in long tournaments and that Atkinson was informed of the change. The statement read, “This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host. The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well.”

However, Mark Butcher expressed his dissatisfaction on the Wisden Cricket World Cup Daily podcast, suggesting a growing perception that the ICC acts as an executive branch of the BCCI. He emphasized the need for transparency in decision-making processes to maintain the integrity of the game.

Butcher acknowledged India’s dominance in the tournament but criticized any potential off-field influence, stating, “India is the best team in the tournament, right? And if they win it, they will have deserved to win for that fact. Is there any need whatsoever for there to be any sort of shenanigans whereby the gloss gets taken off the brilliance of their playing team?”

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The pitch controversy, involving television deals, hosting rights, and suspicions of ICC-BCCI relations, has reignited concerns about the transparency and fairness of decision-making in international cricket, raising questions about the level playing field in the sport.

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