England skipper Jos Buttler expressed concerns over the outfield at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala. He termed the outfield “poor” and expressed that is not ideal for a match. England will be playing against Bangladesh at the venue on October 10 in their second match of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023.
Earlier, Afghanistan head coach Jonhatton Trott raised concerns about the quality of the outfield at the HPCA Stadium. During Afghanistan’s match against Bangladesh, the players slipped while fielding more than once. Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman was lucky to escape an injury after he slipped near the boundary ropes while fielding. Now, England skipper Jos Buttler has also criticised the outfield at the venue.
“I think it’s poor, in my own opinion,” he said.
“I think 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. You want to dive through a row of houses to save a run. That’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is, the outfield. But we won’t use it as an excuse. We’ll adapt to it. But certainly, if you feel like you’re having to hold yourself back, it’s not a place you want to be as a team, as a player, or in a World Cup match,” he added.
Does telling players not to dive question the integrity of the game? – Jos Buttler
International Cricket Council’s (ICC) independent pitch consultant Andy Atkinson inspected the outfield at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala on Sunday after Jonhatton Trott’s comments. The outfield has been rated “average”, but good to go for England’s match against Bangladesh. When asked to Jos Buttler if he was happy that the game was going ahead, he said to 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? The worst-case scenario is something bad happens, but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen for both teams.”