Rajasthan Royals fume over change of pitch

Updated: May 10, 2011, 15:12 PM IST

Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals have slammed the decision to change the pitch for their remaining home matches in the Indian Premier League with skipper Shane Warne calling it "ridiculous".

Rajasthan lost by 63 runs to Chennai Super Kings last night, playing on the new surface and Warne was livid with the change.

"In the past four years we have never been told to play on any particular wicket. It is ridiculous to have instructions for pitch," Warne fumed.

Asked if these instructions meant losing the home advantage to some extent, Warne retorted, "I have no idea from where the instructions came. But never before there have been such things going on. It is right of every team to extract best out of home conditions.”

"The wickets for earlier matches were fantastic. If you had been watching earlier matches here you can make out easily that today`s wicket was different. It has come as a shock and surprise that we were being instructed to play on certain kind of wicket."

On the other hand, Rajasthan Cricket Association secretary Sanjay Dixit defended the pitch, saying that it was changed a week before the match and was definitely a competitive strip.

He added that the home team or the franchisees did not have any rights on choosing the pitch and hence, Shane Warne’s outburst was uncalled for.

Though he did not blame anybody in particular, Warne was indirectly referring to the unofficial complaint that was lodged by Mumbai Indians after they were restricted to 94 for eight on a slow track.

The matter prompted pitch inspector Venkat Sundaram to rush to Jaipur and allegedly order new strips for the remaining matches.

"I don`t want that there headings tomorrow that Shane Warne blames the pitch because it was same for both teams and I concede that we were outplayed. We were up against a side which was pumped and eager to win."

Asked about the so-called instructions for the pitch, CSK coach Stephen Fleming said he had no idea about it.

"Perhaps it is matter of the IPL level and all I can say is that we played on the pitch which was offered to us. But we are happy with the way we played. It would give us more strength in the crunch games ahead," Fleming said.

PTI