Sat, Oct 21, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Indian pitch sprayed with glue after grumbles from SA's Smith

AFP , MUMBAI

Glue will be sprayed on to the controversial Brabourne Stadium pitch after it was condemned by South African skipper Graeme Smith following his team's Champions Trophy defeat to New Zealand.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday that a glue, polyvinyl acetate (PVA), would be used on the Cricket Club of India (CCI) pitch ahead of yesterday's match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The decision was taken on Thursday following an inspection at the venue by ICC grounds consultant Andy Atkinson, after concerns over their lasting qualities.

"The glue will be sprayed onto the pitch in the morning in order to bind the surface together and make sure that it lasts 100 overs so that conditions remain consistent throughout the match," said Atkinson.

"This procedure has been used before with good results in New Zealand and at Old Trafford in England so we are confident it will be successful.

"It is not a panacea -- it will not make a bad pitch into a good pitch -- but it has been proven to be an effective method of preventing pitches from disintegrating as the game goes along.

Smith hit out at the state of the pitch after his side lost by 87 runs to New Zealand in the Champions Trophy on Monday.

The Kiwis had been bowled out for just 195 but fought back to dismiss the powerful South Africans for 108.

"It's always tough to sit and moan about a wicket when you've lost, but in terms of an international tournament I don't think the wicket was of a good standard today," said Smith, South Africa's top scorer in the game with 42.

"The pitch deteriorated as the day went along. Batting second was very, very difficult. The pitch broke up, the ball turned a hell of a lot."

Yesterday, five liters of the glue were due to be mixed with ten liters of water and sprayed evenly over the length of the pitch.

The ICC said the procedure will also be used for the Champions Trophy final, to be staged at the same venue on Nov. 5.

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