India vs Windies: New 'playing conditions' creates confusion in Rajkot Test

India vs Windies: New ‘playing conditions’ creates confusion in Rajkot Test

The ICC's new regulations came into effect on September 30.

Rajkot Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The revised playing conditions by the International Cricket Council (ICC) has created confusion in Rajkot for the first Test between India and the Windies. The revisions came into effect on September 30 but weren’t communicated clearly to the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) on the eve of the Test match.

The new conditions state that the boundaries for international matches should be a lot bigger. The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium’s boundary is at a 73-yard distance from the center, which is well within the specified limits. As per clause 19.3, the boundaries should be between 65 and 90 yards. However, there seems to be an issue over the area between the stands and the boundary.

According to SCA officials, the ICC match referee Chris Broad apparently asked them to ‘increase the size of the boundary’, referring to the new guidelines. However, the association was forced to inform him that such changes were not possible ‘at the last moment’.

Former SCA secretary Niranjan Shah said, “We have a three-metre gap behind the boundary (till the advertisement board). That is something even the ICC has asked for the players’ safety run-off. But today (Wednesday) they inquired why the boundary size could not be increased.”

What does the ICC clause say?

ICC’s clause 19.1.5 states, “If the boundary is positioned less than 90 yards (82.29 meters) from the centre of the pitch, the boundary rope cannot be set at a distance of more than 10 yards (9.14 meters) from the perimeter fence. The 10 yards shall be inclusive of the 3 yards (2.74 meters) provided for the player’s safety run off.”

Shah said that space was allocated for television crew as well as photographers. He spoke to the ICC representatives and informed them that everything was already set up, so making these changes would not be possible. “If they wanted to get things changed, they should have informed us at least three to four days in advance. Now, everything was set up, so there was no way we could fix this,” Shah said.

These discussions took place in the afternoon on Wednesday, when the Windies players were training at the ground.

However, the SCA Stadium would not face any sanctions as the clause 19.1.6 clearly states that ‘any ground which has previously been approved to host international cricket which is unable to conform to the minimum boundary dimension shall be exempted. In such cases, the boundary shall be positioned so as to maximize the size of the playing area.’

India have opted to bat first in the Rajkot Test. Prithvi Shaw, making his debut in Test cricket, reached his century in style.

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