Cricket World Cup: India legend labels pitch critics ‘morons’ and tells Michael Vaughan to ‘shut up’ amid controversy
- India legend has hit out at ‘morons’
- A pitch controversy has hit the World Cup
- READ: Australia make fast start to semi-final
India have copped widespread criticism after switching the pitches before their World Cup semi-final victory, but cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar believes those critics are ‘morons’.
The host nation swept New Zealand aside on Wednesday to book their place in the final and move a step closer to securing a third ODI World Cup crown.
But there was controversy before the game after Mail Sport revealed the semi-final would be played on a used pitch in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, which had already staged two games earlier in the tournament.
The ICC’s pitch consultant was less than impressed with the change, wih Indian officials asking BCCI curators to shave off most of the grass on the surface.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was scathing of the move.
India legend Sunil Gavaskar has hit out at ‘morons’ who criticised the pitch decision
Mail Sport revealed that India swapped the pitch ahead of their World Cup semi final
‘It is a bit of a sour taste,’ he said on Test Match Special. ‘It doesn’t sit with me that a World Cup semi-final is played on a used pitch.
‘I don’t think India needed to do anything. They have played the best cricket by a country mile. They shouldn’t have got involved in what the surface should be.’
Vaughan later added: ‘Let’s not beat around the truth: the ICC want India in the final. They probably would’ve beaten New Zealand on any pitch… The rest of the world will be like: ‘Really? Don’t make it so obvious.’
Anil Kumble, the respected former India spinner and head coach, told ESPNcricinfo he had ‘no idea’ why the pitch had been changed so late on.
‘It’s very surprising,’ he said. ‘All the broadcast equipment was set up for the [fresh] pitch and now today it seems like they’ve moved to the surface which was used.’
Meanwhile, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram tweeted: ‘This should be the last thing on the Indian cricket team’s mind. This is just unnecessary.’
But Gavaskar has branded those detractors as ‘morons’ and says they should ‘shut up’.
‘This has been such a good pitch to bat on. We’ve had nearly 730 runs scored here,’ he said on Star Sports.
‘All those morons who were talking about the pitch being changed and that it would do the Indian bowlers a favour, I hope they will just shut up.
Michael Vaughan hit out at the move and said it was blatant but he’s been told to ‘shut up’
‘Stop taking potshots at India just because it helps you get eyeballs. Nonsense.
‘Even if the pitch was changed, it was there before the toss for both the teams. It wasn’t changed in the mid-innings. It wasn’t changed after the toss was done.
‘The pitch was the same for both teams. You are a good enough team, you play on that pitch and you win. And India has done that. So stop talking about pitches.
‘Already they’re talking about the pitch in Ahmedabad (the venue for the final). The second semi-final hasn’t even taken place, you’re talking about the pitch being changed in Ahmedabad. Nonsense.’
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