Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing
Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news
Thanks for signing up to the
England captain Jos Buttler has suggested the state of the outfield in Dharamshala could compromise “the integrity of the game” when his side face Bangladesh on Tuesday.
The HPCA Stadium is one of the most visually stunning grounds in the world, set against the Himalayan mountain range of Dhauladhar, but the field of play is causing serious concerns due to its loose, sandy make-up and uneven grass coverage.
Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman came close to a nasty injury on Saturday when his knee lodged in the surface as he slid to stop a boundary, with debris spraying up from the soil as he landed.
The International Cricket Council have stressed that the outfield was rated ‘average’ by the officials at that game, while match referee Javagal Srinath has declared himself satisfied after a fresh inspection.
But England have had two training days at the venue and are unimpressed by conditions, which appear to fall short of international norms.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Buttler said: “I think it’s poor, in my own opinion. It’s not as good as it could be or should be.
“Certainly if you feel like you’re having to hold yourself back, it’s not a place you want to be as a team, or as a player, or in a World Cup match.”
He subsequently took his misgivings even further, telling the BBC: “The powers that be are comfortable… the only thing I would question is, if you are telling players not to dive and stuff does that question the integrity of the game?
“Worse case scenario is something bad happens, but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen for both teams.”
You want to put your body on the line and be trying to save every single run and have confidence in the field
Buttler appeared particularly frustrated at the idea of asking his side to hold back – particularly as they look to provide a rousing response to their hefty nine-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the tournament opener.
“Any time you’re talking about being careful diving, or maybe being careful when you’re fielding, it goes against everything you want to be as a team,” Buttler said.
“You want to dive through a row houses to save a run. so it’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is.
“I think it’s definitely one where you’re going to have to be a little bit careful, which isn’t what you want to be doing when you’re playing for your country.
“You want to put your body on the line and be trying to save every single run and have confidence in the field.
“We won’t be using it as an excuse, we’ll just have to be a bit smart.”
Source: Read Full Article