After Tamim and Mortaza, Brendon McCullum critical of the Sher-e-Bangla pitch

After Tamim and Mortaza, Brendon McCullum critical of the Sher-e-Bangla pitch

"It is very hard to come into the tournament as a stroke-maker when you can't trust the pitch." - Brendon McCullum.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Bangladesh’s domestic T20 league Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is going on at the moment where the teams are fighting out to get the championship title. The tournament now has reached to the knockout rounds where Khulna Titans are set to face Rangpur Riders in the eliminator round of the league. While in the 1st qualifier, Comilla Victorians will take on the Dhaka Dynamites led by star all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan.

During the second last group stage match of the tournament, Brendon McCullum led Rangpur Riders was facing the Dhaka Dynamites. Rangpur Riders lost the game as the team failed to chase down a small total of 137 runs as they could only manage 97 runs in their innings 20 overs. Skipper McCullum could only score 1 run off 7 deliveries which he faced in the game. While Ravi Bopara stood his ground as he scored 28 runs but took 30 balls to do so, failing to take his side over the line.

Baz unhapy with the pitch

After the game, Brendon McCullum criticized the pitch which looked two-paced as many number of balls were keeping low or were shooting off the pitch. Earlier, Comilla Victoria skipper Tamim Iqbal too had criticized the Sher-e-Bangla track after they took almost 20 overs to chase down a target of 98 runs against Rangpur Riders. Although that time, Mashrafe Mortaza was leading the side and not McCullum.

McCullum said that since the pitch’s nature is slow, the batters are struggling to play their strokes. “The wicket was a very poor one”, said the former Black Caps skipper. McCullum who didn’t have a great BPL season said according to ESPN Cricinfo, “Everyone wants to score more runs, but I think you have seen over the years that my game is suited to wickets that are different than what we have seen so far. You can’t trust the bounce and pace of the wicket. We have seen balls that have gone through the top. Guys were telling me that pitches were a very good couple of years ago”.

He felt that there are some very good players in the tournament. “I think there’s a lot of very, very good, world-class players in this tournament. People want to turn up and be able to watch some of the best players in the world which allows them to play exciting cricket. But I personally don’t think that was exciting cricket. I think the tournament can benefit from better surfaces than the one we just saw today”, said McCullum.

He continued that he’d hope to get a better surface where the batters can play their strokes freely and the pitch is consistent in terms of pace and bounce. He said, “It is very hard to come into the tournament as a stroke-maker when you can’t trust the pitch. Of course, my performance needs to be better. But it will be nice to have a surface that is more consistent and has more pace about it. I will look forward to it.”