England captain Jos Buttler has slammed the Dharamsala outfield as “poor” and urged his players to be careful when diving in the deep, casting doubt on the venue’s fitness to host a World Cup fixture.
Players and coaches have been grumbling about the Dharamsala outfield’s sandy surface and irregular bounce for a while now. During the just finished ODI World Cup match between England and Bangladesh, the circumstances were evident, with several players slipping and fielding awkwardly.
In the post-game press conference, Buttler singled out the outfield as being “not as good as it could be, or should be.” When playing for your country, you shouldn’t be diving in the depths, he further cautioned his teammates.
Buttler’s comments come after Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott said that Mujeeb Ur Rahman was “lucky” to avoid a serious injury after slipping on the Dharamsala outfield during their match against Bangladesh. Trott also contacted England players to warn them about the outfield’s condition.
The ICC has defended the Dharamsala outfield, saying that it is “average” and meets all of the required standards. However, Buttler’s comments and the concerns of other players and coaches suggest that the ICC may need to reconsider its decision to allow the venue to host World Cup matches.
Why is the Dharamsala outfield so poor?
There are a number of reasons why the Dharamsala outfield is in such poor condition. One factor is the ground’s high altitude, which might make it challenging to maintain a healthy grass cover. Another reason is that the ground is used for a variety of sports, including cricket, football, and rugby, which can put a lot of strain on the outfield.
In addition, the Dharamsala outfield has been affected by a number of factors beyond the control of the ground staff, such as heavy rainfall and sandstorms. The combination of these factors has made it difficult to maintain the outfield to a high standard.
What are the risks for players?
The poor condition of the Dharamsala outfield poses a number of risks for players. One risk is that players could slip and injure themselves while fielding or running between the wickets. Another risk is that the uneven bounce could make it difficult for batsmen to time the ball, leading to more dismissals.
Players may have skin and eye irritation as well as difficulty handling the ball due to the sandy surface.
What can be done to improve the Dharamsala outfield?
There are a number of things that can be done to improve the Dharamsala outfield. One thing is to invest in better drainage and irrigation systems. This would help to reduce the impact of heavy rainfall and sandstorms.
Another thing that could be done is to reduce the number of sports that are played on the ground. This would give the ground staff more time and resources to maintain the outfield.
Finally, the ICC could consider moving World Cup matches away from Dharamsala until the outfield is in better condition.
The poor condition of the Dharamsala outfield is a serious concern for players and coaches. The ICC needs to take action to improve the outfield, either by investing in better drainage and irrigation systems, reducing the number of sports that are played on the ground, or moving World Cup matches away from Dharamsala.
In addition to the above, here are some other things that can be done to improve the Dharamsala outfield:
- Use better quality grass seed.
- Improve the soil conditions.
- Increase the frequency of mowing and rolling.
- Fertilize the outfield regularly.
- Aerate the outfield regularly.
- Topdress the outfield with sand or other materials to improve drainage.
- Avoid using the outfield during periods of heavy rainfall or sandstorms.
By taking these steps, the ICC can help to ensure that the Dharamsala outfield is in a safe and playable condition for all players.