India are set to take on Ireland in their Pool B encounter at the Seddon Park, Hamilton tomorrow. The match is expected to be a run feast as the 22 yard strip for the match promises tons of runs scored in it and adding to the boundaries, the boundaries are just 60 metres in all the sides. Pitch curator Karl Johnson has said that the wicket he prepared for the match is a batsman friendly one. He also admitted that the governing body (ICC) has instructed the curators to prepare batsmen friendly wickets for the World Cup.
We were instructed by the ICC to prepare good batting tracks with negligible seam movement and less turn. So far the ICC has been happy with how the pitch has played in the two matches. (In the South Africa versus Zimbabwe game, a total of 616 runs were scored). Basically, we have tried to keep the surface hard and ensure that there is even bounce and carry. To prepare the World Cup wicket, it took me about 14 days. We have laid nine strips. All the three matches including two completed matches and the coming India game was or will be played on different strips but of same nature, Johnson said.
He also added that The side boundaries are just above 60 metres while one of the straight boundaries is even less than 60 metres (59 metres). The reason for shortened boundaries is that we have lost about 3 metres due to LED boundary boards. If we didn’t have LED boards, then the boundary boards would have been touching the picket fencing. The best part about the Seddon Park ground is that it’s not a ‘drop-in’ pitch. This is a stadium where only cricket is played unlike Auckland or Wellington, where rugby matches are also held. At Seddon Park, it’s only six months of use as cricket is played from October to March.
Johnson was also the curator at the Sahara Stadium in Pune during the 2013 Indian Premier League.