Royals distances itself from Modi comments on pitch fiasco

Last Updated: May 11, 2011, 17:42 PM IST

Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday distanced itself from comments made by former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi regarding the Sawai Man Singh Stadium pitch controversy ahead of the IPL match between the home team and defending champions Chennai Super Kings.

The now suspended Modi had taken a swipe at the Cricket Board officials for changing the pitch for the match between Royals and CSK, suggesting that it was done at the behest of BCCI Secretary and president-elect N Srinivasan.

The franchise on Wednesday issued a statement, saying that it was happy with the quality of the new strip on which the home team played against Chennai Super Kings.

"Rajasthan Royals wish to clarify position relating to recent comments attributed to Jaipur pitch. The Royals have confidence in the curator of Sawai Mansingh Stadium, and the IPL Grounds Committee to select and prepare high quality cricket pitches for T20 matches," the statement said.

"We note that other comments have been made by other parties, including Lalit Modi, in the media relating to the pitch. These are their own views and we would like to state that these are not those of Rajasthan Royals," it said.

The Royals said the side were satisfied with the pitch conditions at the home ground on which they had achieved considerable success over the last four years.

"Over the last four years we have nothing but praise for the ground staff who work tirelessly to provide the best possible pitches. We have enjoyed considerable success playing on our home ground and have developed a game plan to best suit the prevailing conditions.”

"Whilst all pitches might vary and some suit our style better than others, RR are happy with the quality of the conditions we play under in Jaipur and at all other grounds we have visited in the IPL," it said.

"At no time have we attributed our results to the conditions of the pitch at any ground. On Monday, our captain and players have consistently stated that we were outplayed by a very strong CSK side and credit must go to them for their performance," the Royals said.

The controversy was kicked up following an unofficial complaint lodged by Mumbai Indians after they were restricted to 94 for eight a slow track by Rajasthan Royals in their IPL match here on April 29.

The matter prompted chairman of BCCI`s Pitches and Grounds committee Venkat Sundaram to rush to Jaipur and allegedly order new strips for the remaining two matches – on May 9 and May 11.

A livid Royals captain Shane Warne slammed the decision as "ridiculous" but also admitted that pitch couldn`t have been an excuse for defeat.

The BCCI then tried to douse the fire on Tuesday with Chairman Chirayu Amin issuing a release to state that it was the curator, in consultation with the BCCI`s Ground and Pitches Committee, who decides the playing surface and there was nothing sinister about the change of pitch here.

PTI