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'We Need An Even Contest': Irish Coach Adds Air To The New York Pitch Controversy

Ireland was decimated by the Indian bowling [X]Ireland was decimated by the Indian bowling [X]

The newly laid pitch at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York has come under heavy criticism during the T20 World Cup 2024.

Described as "dangerous" and "sub-standard," the surface has sparked concerns among players and commentators.

In Tuesday's Group A match, India bowled out Ireland for a mere 96 runs and secured victory by eight wickets.

Heinrich Malan disappointed with the wicket

Ireland's coach Heinrich Malan did not directly blame the pitch for the defeat but expressed his disappointment with the playing conditions. 

"You need a good surface to play competitive cricket, and what we've seen over the past couple of games hasn't met those expectations," Malan remarked. "Hopefully, in the coming days, the pitch will improve, allowing for better cricket."

This was the second consecutive low-scoring match at the new venue. On Monday, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 77, allowing South Africa to win comfortably with 22 balls to spare.

"Malan emphasized the need for a fair contest, adding, "It's the pinnacle of our event, and while we don't need scores of 200 every game, we do need an even contest, which today clearly was not."

Andy Flower, the former Zimbabwe player and ex-England team director, also criticized the pitch.

Indian bowlers Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Arshdeep Singh exploited the challenging conditions, swiftly dismantling the Irish batting lineup. India chased down the target of 97 in 16 overs.

Team India is set to play their next matches at this venue against Pakistan on June 9 and co-hosts USA on June 12.