ICL: Indian Cricket League


Woolmer in a tiff, again

Written by Kashif Aziz on April 3rd, 2006   (459 views)

Pakistan cricket team’s coach Bob Woolmer was involved in a tiff again, this time with the groundstaff at the Asgiriya Stadium here on Sunday while he was checking out the bounce of the pitch during his team’s training session.

Woolmer asked for match referee, Alan Hurst, to come out and mediate when he was hauled up by the venue manager Aubery Kurrupu and other groundstaff members while he was inspecting the pitch.

Woolmer was not pleased at being told not to go near the pitch or inspect it physically.

“My understanding is that the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations allow a coach to check out the pitch on the day before the match by bouncing a ball and otherwise as long as he is not doing anything in the danger area which I was not doing,” Woolmer said, adding, “I’m aware team officials can’t touch the pitch on the day of the match.”

The venue manager apparently believed that Woolmer was trying to stick his fingers into the pitch to check its bounce and moisture but when he confronted the Pakistan coach he (Woolmer) asked for the match referee to come out and sort out things. Woolmer said he had just gone around and bounced a ball on an area, which was not in the danger zone. “I don’t know what the fuss was all about. I was a bit surprised,” he said.

Interestingly, the groundstaff at the Asgiriya Stadium have prepared just one pitch for the second Test starting from Monday. Whereas normally at all major centres, the groundstaff prepare two to three pitches and then finally decides on one well before the game, a point even made to the curator by Woolmer during the argument.

With the clouds hanging over this beautiful hill resort town and the fact that it has rained everyday for the last three days, clearly the groundstaff have a big task on their hands to ensure the second Test produces a result and not too much time is lost due to bad weather.

The interesting thing is that the Sri Lankan board has sent additional ground workers from Colombo for this Test and the same covers that were used for the first Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) have been transported to Kandy, the reason given that the smaller venues don’t have adequate covers and other equipment with most of the cricket being played in Colombo.

But certainly if the Sri Lankan board is keen to host some nine matches of the 2011 World Cup if the joint Asian bid is accepted by the ICC then the hosts need to work overtime to improve the facilities for the print and electronic media and also to improve their ground conditions.

While the media centre at the SSC for the first Test didn’t meet even normal international standards, the press box here at the Asgiriya Stadium is even worse with no telephone lines or sitting benches being available till Sunday afternoon.

The reason given for this by local journalists is that the Sri Lankan board still operates on an ad-hoc basis and has not involved its sponsors and other commercial companies in uplifting media and ground facilities like the Pakistan cricket authorities have done with good results.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Woolmer, ICC, Colombo, Kandy, World Cup



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This entry was posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2006 and is filed under General.

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