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Pakistan Head Coach Lauds New York Amid Criticism By Players

Former Indian coach and the current Pakistan head coach Gary Kirsten lauded the ‘defamed’ New York pitch at the Nassau County International Stadium which was also used for the iconic clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. The pitch which has received a lot of slack ever since the start of the tournament, received praise by the 56-year-old as his side fell to another defeat in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

Gary Kirsten Backs New York Pitch After India vs Pakistan

After the game, Kirsten acknowledged that the team was aware of the challenges posed by the surface and did not consider it dangerous. Despite widespread criticism of the New York pitch, with several former cricketers labeling it as hazardous for players, Kirsten maintained this stance. In response to the backlash, the International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a statement promising improved pitches for the remainder of the tournament.

“So, I think it wasn’t dangerous by any stretch. I mean the odd one rose up sharply but not many. It generally kept a little bit lower. I think we were able to score for both batting sides and also a fairly slow outfield, so it was never going to be a big total,” said Kirsten in the post-match press conference.

Kirsten, the former South African cricketer, also remarked that low-scoring games can be enjoyable and that T20 cricket does not always need to be high-scoring.

“I would have said 140 would have been a really good score on that pitch. So, India didn’t get that so I thought we had the game. We knew it was going to be tight but sometimes it’s fun seeing games like that as well. It’s not always about sixes and hitting, getting 230’s and 240’s. You can actually have a really entertaining game on a 120 chase. So, I don’t think it’s bad for the game,” he added.

So far, five matches have been played at the venue, with an average first innings score of 106. The highest totals batting first and second have been 137 and 113, respectively. Three more matches are scheduled at Nassau County stadium: South Africa vs Bangladesh, Pakistan vs Canada, and USA vs India. As the tournament continues, the New York surface will be closely watched to see how it develops.