After the somewhat-hyped controversy and allegations against the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for providing a used and ‘not ideal’ pitch for the Bristol Test that is scheduled to start today, the Board has issued an apology for the incompetency and incapability to put up a fresh pitch at the Bristol County Ground. The pitch provided, which had been allotted in the previous week for the T20 Blast game, is a 37-year old surface that will thrust the high-pressure game between the two power-houses.

“We are all disappointed that the wicket for the LV= Insurance 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,” ECB said and further added, “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.”

This stance of apology from the ECB side has arrived lately after the English captain, Heather Knight’s disappointment that shook the side with concern over the ascertaining of a pitch that is not fresh for an all-new fresh game – a game that holds so much of essence for both the sides, especially the visiting side as they will be playing their first after seven long years.

“I guess it’s obviously not ideal,” Heather Knight said on the eve of the game. “We’d much prefer to be on a fresh one but it is what it is. And we don’t know how it’s going to play necessarily.”

Knight even conceded that they attempted to get it changed subsequent to have gotten some answers concerning it last week however the endeavour was purposeless. “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’s unfortunate but it still could play very well.”

Former England cricketer Alex Hartley was more vocal in her analysis and criticism of the turn of events on social media, as England gears up to play a home Test without a precedent for almost two years.

Strangely, India’s skipper Mithali Raj evaded the pitch talk and decided to zero in on the basic thought process that needs to be maintained prior to a game along with the concerned strategies rather, as her side puts on the Test whites interestingly for the maiden time since 2014.

“We’re here to play a match. Whatever strip we get, we try and get a result out of it,” Raj said in her virtual press address. “That’s our thought process. Whether it is a used wicket or a fresh wicket… as players, and a captain I definitely want my team to get a result and for that, it is important that we put down our strategies accordingly.”

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