Assam Cricket Association (ACA) President Taranga Gogoi on Wednesday said that the pitch was very good which ensured a high scoring and enjoyable first One Day International (ODI) match between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati’s ACA Barsapara Stadium.
Gogoi said that over 300 runs were scored in both the innings which pointed towards a good pitch for batters, where Virat Kohli and Dasun Shanaka scored centuries. India’s Umran Malik recording the fastest delivery by an Indian on the same pitch pointed towards bowlers’ satisfaction as well.
In the wake of hosting the ODI match successfully, with an eye on the 2023 World Cup in India, Taranga Gogoi thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the chance to host an international ODI after a long time, during a presser today.
Gogoi said, “At first, I would like to thank BCCI President Roger Binny, Secretary Jay Shah and Joint Secretary Devajit Lon Saikia for entrusting us with the ODI match. I am very happy that the match was played out nicely.”
The ACA President then expressed his gratitude towards Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He also thanked the media for positive coverage and upheld their role in the success.
Speaking to reporters, he also thanked the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL), PWD, Medical and Fire departments for their continued support before and during the match.
He cited the injury to a Sri Lankan player who he did not name, which was promptly dealt with on the spot by the medical team, to highlight the work behind the scenes. However, he assured that proper procedure was followed and scans were conducted later on.
Lastly, Gogoi thanked the fans for coming and cheering the teams. He said that fans’ support made the event a grand success.
Talking about the pitch, he said that in both the ODIs played in the Barsapara Stadium, over 300 runs were scored in each innings. This showed that it was a good pitch, which was reaffirmed by the curator as well.
Citing the T20 match between India and South Africa played last year, Gogoi highlighted that a total of 458 runs were scored which is the second highest in the world and highest in India, all good indicators of the condition of the pitch.
Moreover, discussing the possibility of Guwahati witnessing a World Cup match, Taranga Gogoi said, “We will try to bring at least one league stage match of the 2023 World Cup, if not a quarter or semi-final match of India here in Guwahati. It is mostly the top metro cities across the country that get these high-profile matches.”
Turning his attention to the ongoing Ranji Trophy match between Assam and Mumbai in the Amingaon Stadium, Gogoi said, “Amingaon is hosting the first Ranji match and it has exploded. The match has witnessed the second highest score in Ranji Trophy with Prithvi Shaw shining. I think both pitches here can be termed as fantastic for cricket. Currently, it is raining runs in Guwahati.”
“I hope this will convince the BCCI in handing us the chance to host a World Cup match,” he added.
Speaking about the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gogoi mentioned that with IPL introducing Women’s Cricket, ACA has registered all women players. “The process and underway and we shall see in that regard,” said the ACA President.
Moreover, ACA is also in talks to hold two of Rajasthan Royals’ home matches in the Barsapara Stadium. “Talks are underway and I can assure that they are positive talks,” asserted Taranga Gogoi.
Questioned about the ticket sales and reports of Guwahati not being able to fill up the stadium, Gogoi said, “It was because of upcoming Bihu. Many people opted to stay at home and prepare with Bihu on the horizon.”
He informed that of a total capacity of 38,000, there were around 32,000 in attendance during the match. “Every stand was filled, except the south upper stand, which was sparsely populated. It was otherwise a good turnout. One of the reasons could also be that most people nowadays prefer T20 format, with ODI being a longer version, several fans may have been put out by that.”
During Sri Lanka’s innings, an incident of a fan entering the field of play had become one of the talking points. Addressing queries on it, Taranga Gogoi said, “It can be termed as an incident of public craze. I condemn it and it should not have happened, however, he was just a fan who wanted to meet his idol on the pitch. Players understand this and they actually do not mind it that much.”
Asked if he was penalized, Gogoi mentioned that ACA did not deem it fit to impose any penalties on the fan, however, as per procedure, a police complaint regarding the matter has been filed.
He said, “There were around 2,500 police personnel deployed. We cannot deploy too much force as it goes against the fans’ sentiments. However, one such incident can be allowed to slide by.”