One of the lesser known facts of a cricket pitch is that it should be along the North-South direction. This is to ensure the sun rays never fall on the eyes of batsmen, be it morning or evening.
The Green Park track defies this norm. The pitch of this pre-independence ear venue is laid East West. In the morning it was seen that the batsmen’s long shadow on the pitch as the sun goes up from behind the Hostel End. The batsman at the Pavillion End and the wicketkeeper get the sun-rays directly in their eyes.
So, the East-West layout doesn’t let the batsmen feel easy at the crease.
On Saturday at 4.45 pm play umpires had to take a call on day’s play despite the need to bowl many overs to compensate for those on Friday when the final session was washed out.
Altogether 36 overs were lost on Friday, the third day’s play on Saturday saw only an extra six overs bowled.
The remaining 30 overs are unlikely to be bowled. A comprehensive win for India, which looks likely, may not raise a need to those lost over to be bowled, and the issue will be brushed under the carpet.
The experts who are responsible for laying out the pitch say that any deviation from the norm must be minimal. The maximum a pitch can deviate is 15 degree. Apart from the patch of the sun and lengthening shadows, the magnetic compass too proved how flawed the pitch has been.
A senior official said, “I didn’t know about it. But changing it may leave the Board in an embarrassing position. People will laugh that it allowed the game to be played all these years despite such a flaw.”
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