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Used pitch to host first semifinal between India and New Zealand – Report

The first semifinal of the ODI World Cup 2023 will be played in Mumbai on November 15.

Rohit Sharma inspecting wicket (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ahead of the first semifinal of the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 between India and New Zealand, a controversy has erupted. Apparently, as reported by the English media, the Daily Mail, the Indian Cricket Board, and the Apex Council had a conversation on the pitch that will host the first semi. Both had an agreement over using a fresh wicket, i.e. number seven-pitch.

However, the media house has claimed that the team has decided to play on wicket number six. The number seven hosted England vs South Africa and India vs Sri Lanka matches in the league stage. The media house further claims that the final on November 19 will also be played on a used wicket to assist Indian spinners.

Atkinson’s email, as reported by the Daily Mail, read: “As a result of these actions, one must speculate if this will be the first ever (World Cup) final to have a pitch which has been specifically chosen and prepared to their stipulation at the request of the team management and/or the hierarchy of the home nation board. Or will it be selected or prepared without favouritism for either of the sides competing in the match in the usual manner, and unquestionably because it is the usual pitch for the occasion?”

The report also quotes a response from an Indian Cricket Board official, saying: “The Apex Council independent pitch consultant works with the host and venues on their proposed pitch allocations and this process is ongoing throughout an event of this length and nature.”

Talking about the match, it will be played on November 15 at the Wankhede Stadium. Unbeaten India would like to carry their winning momentum. On the other hand, the Blackcaps are looking to play three back-to-back finals.

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