The pitch curator at Lucknow's Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium has faced the brunt of poor pitch on offer during the second T20I between India and New Zealand and has been sacked with immediate effect, according to reports. It took the Indian team 19.5 overs to chase a target of 100 runs after New Zealand crawled to a score of 99 batting first. The match saw 30 overs of spin getting bowled out of 39.5 and as the hosts got over the line 'only just', skipper Hardik Pandya labelled it as 'a shocker of a pitch.'
As per a report in The Indian Express, the pitch curator Surender Kumar was sacked immediately and now Sanjeev Agarwal will take over the position. The report mentioned that the curator had prepared two black-soil pitches but was asked by the team management last minute, three days before the match to lay a red soil pitch, but it couldn't be prepared sufficiently well enough for the game.
Speaking after the match, Hardik said that not just Lucknow, but the pitch in Ranchi in the first T20I too wasn't a great one. "To be honest, this was a shocker of a wicket. Two games the kind of wickets we have played on. I don't mind difficult wickets. I am all up for that, but these two wickets are not made for T20. Somewhere down the line the curators or the stadium whichever we are going to play in T20, they should make sure they prepare the pitches earlier, rather than having a couple of games there," he said.
As per Dainik Jagran, the nine pitches at the Ekana Stadium will all be relaid ahead of the 2023 edition of the IPL, where home and away fixtures resume.
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