The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has apologised for staging the one-off Test match between India and England women on a wicket that had recently hosted a T20 Blast game between Gloucestershire and Sussex.
Significantly, the game was held on the same wicket just five days ago.
Issuing an appology, the ECB said: “We are all disappointed that the wicket for the Test match against India will have had 37 overs played on it. We know that England Women deserve a fresh wicket and we are sorry that we were unable to provide that in this instance.”
Blamed the late scheduling of the event, the host board said that providing a fresh pitch fit for TV broadcast was going to be a challenge.
“With the Test only being added to the calendar in mid-April, coupled with the lack of available first-class grounds, we knew a fresh TV pitch was going to be a challenge. We accept that this issue shouldn’t have arisen and we will make sure it doesn’t happen in the future,” added the ECB.
Commenting on the issue, England women’s team captain Heather Knight said it wasn’t ideal to play on a used wicket. “I guess it is obviously not ideal. We would much prefer to be on a fresh one but it is what it is. And we do not know how it is going to play necessarily,” said Knight.
“We found out last week. We obviously tried to get it changed but it was a little bit too late for that to happen. It is unfortunate but it still could play very well,” she added.
On the other hand, England cricketer Alexandra Hartley slammed the board saying: “Hahahahaha of course England’s first home test match for 2 years is on a USED WICKET!!! Massive moment in the game playing India in a test match… I know, yes, perfect let’s stick them on a used one. You have to laugh or you will cry. WHAT. A. SHAMBLES. it plays well.”
Earlier on Friday, Sussex beat Gloucestershire by five wickets in the T20 Blast game.
The Test, first for India women in seven years and first for England women in two years, will begin on Wednesday.