Oval pitch 'unacceptable for international cricket' – PollardWednesday, July 28, 2021
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has blasted the quality of the Kensington Oval pitch as “unacceptable for international cricket”, following his side's 1-2 defeat in the three-match One-Day series against Australia.
Not for the first time in the series, West Indies' batting struggled on a surface where the ball held up and made stroke-play difficult, and were dismissed for an inadequate 152 in the 46th over, leading to a six-wicket defeat.
West Indies were dismissed in last Thursday's opener for 123 in pursuit of 257, before recovering from a position of 72 for five in the second ODI last Saturday, to overhaul the Aussies' 187.
“For us it has been challenging. The thing about it is, we accept we haven't batted well throughout this series, coming from the T20 series where the difference in stroke-play was evident,” Pollard said.
“Coming here to Barbados, both teams sort of struggled on the pitch and I think that's unacceptable for international cricket.
“We're not going to make excuses, we accept that we batted badly but I don't think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series for two top international teams [are acceptable].
“I think that's [the pitch] very embarrassing for us as a people. Coming from [the pitch for the T20 series in] St Lucia and coming to this, I think it is absolutely ridiculous.”
Kensington Oval was hosting its first international series in 19 months following Ireland's one-day tour of the Caribbean last year January.
Like most of its Caribbean counterparts, Barbados has seen government-enforced lockdowns since March last year as part of stringent measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with most sporting activity restricted.
Pollard, who had also raised questions over the pitch following the opening defeat, said the issues were “plain for the world to see”, and ran as deep as the regional domestic tournaments.
“We as players sometimes get the brunt of the accusation and all the bad stuff but give the guys the opportunity to come and play on some good cricket wickets. And it goes back even to our regional cricket as well,” Pollard lamented.
“I think as a whole we need to do better and we as individuals need to do better as well so we're not just going to cast blame, we're going to accept responsibility as well.
“But I think it's a holistic approach and a holistic view to go forward.”
International cricket resumed in the Caribbean last March with a multi-format series against Sri Lanka, with the T20 series played at Coolidge Cricket Ground and the One-Day and Test series staged at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium also in Antigua.
St Lucia's Daren Sammy National Stadium hosted the two-Test series against South Africa while Grenada's National Stadium was the stage for the five-match T20 leg.
Australia and West Indies contested their five-match T20 series in St Lucia earlier this month.
Kensington Oval will see action again today in the opening T20 International of the four-match series against Pakistan, with Guyana hosting the last three games.
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