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Mohammad Kaif Holds Indian Team Management Responsible For World Cup 2023 Final Defeat

Kaif accuses India of doctoring the 2023 ODI World Cup final pitch. He observed changes and Sharma, Dravid inspecting it for three days, blaming management for the loss.

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Mar 17, 2024 08:44 IST
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2023 ODI World Cup final
2023 ODI World Cup final

Former Indian cricket star Mohammad Kaif, has recently made surprising claims about the pitch used during the 2023 ODI World Cup final. He placed blame on the Indian team management for their defeat in the final match. Kaif accused India of tampering with the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where the final took place, stating that he observed the pitch changing colors over a span of three days leading up to the final.

During the 2023 ODI World Cup, Mohammad Kaif, who was on commentary duties, was present in Ahmedabad for the crucial final match. He disclosed that he witnessed both captain Rohit Sharma and India head coach Rahul Dravid inspecting the pitch in the evenings for three consecutive days prior to the final. Kaif asserted that he observed changes in the pitch’s color during this time and accused the Indian team management of orchestrating their own defeat by manipulating the playing surface.

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India entered the summit clash as the clear favorites, having maintained an unbeaten record throughout the tournament. With ten consecutive victories, the hosts were on the brink of glory, only to stumble against Australia in the pivotal final, ultimately missing out on the trophy. Kaif attributed India’s defeat to their strategy of employing a slow pitch in the final match.

“I was present there for three days. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid examined the pitch diligently each day leading up to the final. They spent about an hour beside the pitch daily. I personally witnessed the pitch undergoing color changes. There was a noticeable absence of watering and grass on the track. India’s intention was evidently to provide Australia with a slow-paced track. This is the reality, even if some may choose not to believe it,” Kaif revealed in an interview

He later added that Australia had good fast bowlers like Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, which influenced India’s decision to choose a slow pitch for the final. However, Kaif admitted that this choice was a mistake. He rejected the idea that curators work independently, stating that teams do have a say in pitch preparation. Kaif mentioned that it’s common practice to give instructions to curators, like not watering the pitch and reducing grass. He acknowledged that India might have gone too far in manipulating the pitch, especially considering they were playing at home.

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First published on: Mar 17, 2024 08:37 AM IST

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