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DDCA out to inject life into dull Kotla pitch

New Delhi: Anil Kumble took his perfect ten here. Sunil Gavaskar broke Don Bradman's record for most Test centuries at this ground. Yet, the Feroze Shah Kotla has always had a reputation for providing a sub-standard playing surface. But that is all set to change.

Test cricket has been played at the Feroze Shah Kotla since 1948 and its pitch has carried a reputation from that time itself. A dead track that offers slow and low bounce, perfect for dull cricket.

Now the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association that runs the stadium is keen to reverse that reputation. Making the most of a break in the playing calendar, the DDCA has called up the chief curator of the BCCI Daljit Singh to inject life into this sleeping beauty.

So what has Daljit been doing to make the pitch more lively? He dug 18 inches into the surface to find a thick foundation of bricks over which Daljit has created a new base. Above that a six inch layer of filter sand has been put in place to absorb water. Then another layer of fertile soil for the grass to grow into the surface and black soil brought in specially from Rajsthan.

Daljit hasn't left anything to chance, even taking the help of civil engineers to solve the problem of moisture retention under the surface.

The real test of course, will come in a match situation. Some recently relaid tracks haven't really lived up to the hype. So the DDCA is naturally being cautious and expect the pitch to offer good bounce, once it settles down after a year or so.

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