'Wanderers pitches not up to WC mark'

Published: Wednesday, March 7, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: The captain of a provincial cricket team has said its home pitches here at South Africa's premier ground, the Wanderers, were notfit for use in the 2003 World Cup.Highveld Strikers captain Adam Bacher told the daily 'Sportsday' that the world famous Wanderers pitches were no longer able to handle bounce and the World Cup committees should be worrying about this.

He said neither side in an inter-provincial match that Strikers lost to KwaZulu Natal last week were able to score 200 in any of the four innings."Losing was disappointing, but I am more worried about the pitches," Bacher said. "They are not up to scratch. Unless something is done soon, there will be a problem in the World Cup," he added.

The final of the 2003 World Cup, to be hosted by South Africa, is scheduled to be played at the Wanderers, and Bacher felt it was now time to consider cultivating pitches in greenhouses and transporting them to venues for games, as had been done for the indoor games in Melbourne last year between Australia and South Africa.Bacher attributed the deterioration in the pitches at Wanderers to heavy use throughout the year for the past three years that did not allow pitches to recover.

"It's disappointing. We have a first class stadium, people are starting to come back to One-day games, and there is great interest in the World Cup. But what's the point of it all when pitches don't match up?" An obviously frustrated Bacher asked. "We need true surfaces like those in Australia if we are going to have our young batsmen playing with any confidence," Bacher added.The Executive Director of the 2003 World Cup Committee, Dr Ali Bacher, said funds would be advanced to a dozen venues in South Africa for the World Cup for a range of improvements, including the pitches at the Wanderers.India Abroad News Service

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