Atkinson inspects Ferozeshah Kotla pitch

New Delhi: ICC’s chief pitch consultant Andy Atkinson on Monday inspected the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch, which was banned for one year from hosting international matches after the abandoned India-Sri Lanka game last year.

“Today is the first stop on a routine inspection of the venues to be utilised for ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 by Professor Eugene Van Vuuren and myself. We will be visiting five other venues in India and three further venues in Sri Lanka from today until the 15th September,” Atkinson said in a statement.

“At the conclusion of our visit both of our reports will be submitted to our employer the ICC, who, will then circulate them to the appropriate member boards, BCCI and SLC in due course.

“At this stage it would be incorrect for either of us to make any further comment regarding our findings until our reports have been submitted to ICC, BCCI and SLC, and they have had the opportunity to examine the content of those reports,” he said.

Atkinson said the visit was his fifth routine venue inspection of the playing surfaces that will be used for the World Cup and further inspections would be made prior to the start of the tournament in February 2011.

“If you require any further information please contact the ICC media department in Dubai. Just to reiterate neither of us will be making any further comments or statements regarding this trip, either here in India or in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Kotla is scheduled to host four World Cup matches during the February 19-March 30 mega-event, to be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

In December last year, the ODI between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned because of unfit pitch conditions.

The ICC had slapped a one-year ban on Kotla, barring it from hosting any international matches till December 2010.