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Curator prepares new track for Test, but opts for old surface
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Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association curator prefers old surface for the second Test despite a newly-laid pitch prepared at the start of the season

India's last Test match in Kanpur against South Africa in April 2008 finished in less than three days, thanks to a 'dustbowl' wicket. And following match referee Roshan Mahanama's adverse report, the International Cricket Council sought an explanation to the Board of Control for Cricket in India about the Green Park track.

After receiving so much of flak, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) laid down a new track ahead of this domestic season. However, it came as a bit of a surprise when the association decided not to play India's second Test against Sri Lanka, starting on Tuesday, on the newly laid track.

After a round of talks between the UPCA, the UP Sports Department, who are responsible for the stadium and BCCI's chief curator Daljit Singh, it was decided that the new track will be too risky to play a Test match on.

"We have hardly had any competitive cricket on the new pitch," UP Sports Department's curator Shiv Kumar told Sunday MiD DAY. "So we thought such an important game should be played on a tried and tested one."

Shiv Kumar added that he and his team have worked on the track for almost three weeks, so there will be no possibility of the match being played on an underprepared surface.

"The weather is so good this time, so I don't think things will go out of hand, as they did in the last Test since it was so hot," he said.

'Good' wicket

Ask him if it will be a result-oriented wicket that will see a match being played on all five days and he chuckles.

"Well, these two are different things. You can have a result-oriented wicket which doesn't necessarily last for five days. But all I can guarantee you this time is that it will be a good sporting wicket with equal opportunities for batsmen and bowlers."

Well, this is what Ahmedabad curator Dhiraj Parsana had said last week ahead of the first Test.

Let's hope Shiv Kumar, like Parsana, will not have to eat his words.

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