Sri Lanka team manager Ashantha de Mel said on Friday (June 14) that he lodged an official complaint with the ICC due to perceived ‘unfair’ treatment in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 with regards to the pitches they have played on and the facilities provided to them.
“This is a World Cup where the top ten countries are taking part and I feel that all the participants should be treated equally,” De Mel told Daily News.
“What we have found out is that for the four matches we have played so far at Cardiff and Bristol the ICC has prepared a green pitch, and at the same venues where the other countries have played the pitches are brown and favourable for high scoring,” he added.
“The pitch being prepared for our match against Australia on Saturday here at the Oval is green. It is not (a case of) sour grapes that we are complaining but it is very unfair on the part of the ICC that they prepare one type of wicket for certain teams and another type for others.”
De Mel further pointed out a number of issues he had with the facilities provided for the Sri Lankan players, including a lack of nets and a swimming pool.
“Even the practice facilities provided at Cardiff were unsatisfactory. Instead of three nets they gave us only two and the hotel we were put up at Bristol did not have a swimming pool, which is very essential for every team for the fast bowlers especially to relax their muscles after practice. The hotels that Pakistan and Bangladesh were put up at Bristol had swimming pools.
“We wrote to the ICC listing all these shortcomings four days ago but so far we have not had any response from them. We will continue to write to them until we get a reply.”
The ICC later issued a statement on the same, saying that pitch conditions are overseen by independent advisors to ensure fairness.
"We employ an independent pitch advisor to work with the host curators at all ICC events and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 is no different," an event spokesperson said. "We are happy with the wickets that have been produced across the event so far in English conditions.
"As part of the four year planning process to deliver this event, we have liaised with all teams to ensure they are happy with their set up and are available to work with them should any issues arise that have not been previously anticipated. At the heart of our planning is the philosophy that all ten teams are treated equally to enable them to have the best possible preparation for the event."