‘That’s not the pitch you want for a World Cup semi-final’: Brian Lara Cricket Academy criticized after Afghanistan vs. South Africa clash

Brian Lara Cricket Academy pitch criticism

The Brian Lara Cricket Academy pitch has faced sharp criticism following its performance in the 2024 T20 World Cup semi-final between Afghanistan and South Africa. The unpredictable nature of the pitch was evident from the first two balls of the chase, with one practically rolling along the ground and the next rearing off a similar length. Observers and participants alike were critical, although players had to balance their comments to avoid sounding like they were making excuses or downplaying their achievements.

Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott voiced his concerns cautiously. “That’s not the pitch you want for a semi-final. It should be a fair contest. I’m not saying it should be completely flat, but batsmen shouldn’t worry about balls flying over their heads. T20 is about attacking and scoring runs, not just surviving.”

South Africa’s captain, Aiden Markram, echoed these sentiments. “T20 cricket should be entertaining. The wickets throughout the competition have been challenging, and tonight’s was no different. Reflecting on it, we’re glad not to play here again.”

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Commentators Tom Moody and Andy Flower, speaking on ESPNcricinfo’s Timeout, were unequivocal in their disapproval. Moody stated, “This track was not fit for any game, let alone a World Cup semi-final. Consistent bounce is crucial for a fair contest.” Flower agreed, adding, “The pitch was dangerous, with unpredictable bounce making it almost impossible for batsmen.”

The Brian Lara Cricket Academy has seen low scores throughout this World Cup, with several matches producing totals below 100. In contrast, Trinidad’s renowned Queen’s Park Oval did not host any World Cup matches, losing out to the newer venue which made its international debut less than two years ago.

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