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Thread: 'No Doctoring' of the pitch at the Oval

  1. #1
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    'No Doctoring' of the pitch at the Oval

    I'm not liking what I'm hearing about the pitch preparation at the Oval. If there's not going to be any change then it'll be a high scoring game that could well end in a draw.

    And if any time was lost out of the game - well, its VERY likely to be a draw isn't it? It goes without saying that this favours the Aussies.

    Has anyone looked at the weather forecast? I have and its saying the first 3 days it will rain (to varying degrees) I really do fear for our chances now.

    Also, isn't it the whole point to doctor pitches for the home team? It happens on the subcontinent, Australia. Everywhere I reckon but why not here?
    Last edited by huxleypig; 14-08-2009 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    It does usually go on in England, and rightly so. Preparing a pitch to suit the home team isn't doctoring, doctoring is illegally altering the condition of the pitch during the course of the match.

    Anyway if there's no effort made to ensure The Oval is a result pitch it'll be plain stupidity on the part of whoever made the choice (be it Surrey or someone at the ECB). There is, admittedly, a limit to what can be done - it's quite tricky to suppress a rank road - but you have to try, when for your home team a draw is a loss.
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    I have never agreed with the idea that preparing pitches to suit the home team is somehow illegitmate. IMO it's part of test cricket and one of the things that makes an away test series win special. After all whatever the nature of the pitch, it's still the same for both sides. If they prepared a turner for the Oval, and England managed to win that would simply reflect their better spinners which is a legitmate area of superiority.

    Of course regardless of what the Oval curators end up preparing you would hardly expect them to announce it in advance. So it's quite possible that they will prepare a turner anyway. If however they do prepare a fairly flat track I think it will be goodbye to England's chances. They probably don't have the attack to win on a batting pitch especially given Flintoff's dodgy status.

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    I'm just going on the announcements from the Oval:

    ASHES 2009: 'We won't doctor Oval pitch' - England won't receive any favours in deciding Test | Mail Online

    I agree that it makes an away win so satisfying.

    And I doubt that the ECB/the Oval would announce beforehand that they would be preparing a 'result' pitch but even so, I'm not liking the noises I'm hearing from there...


  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    It does usually go on in England, and rightly so. Preparing a pitch to suit the home team isn't doctoring, doctoring is illegally altering the condition of the pitch during the course of the match.
    There are some limitations to this insofar as the home team has a responsibility to prepare a wicket that is reasonable for cricket. There has to be some chance of a result, can't be unsafe for play etc.

    I agree though, there'd be nothing wrong with England preparing a surface that favoured them. Not really sure what that would entail, mind you. I can't see a "result wicket" really helping England that much.
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad View Post
    There are some limitations to this insofar as the home team has a responsibility to prepare a wicket that is reasonable for cricket. There has to be some chance of a result, can't be unsafe for play etc.

    I agree though, there'd be nothing wrong with England preparing a surface that favoured them. Not really sure what that would entail, mind you. I can't see a "result wicket" really helping England that much.
    It helps Australia as much as it helps us, butit should ensure that the team that bowls better wins, I think I would rather us lose this game than draw it
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Love it when everyone gets annoyed at a curator when he says something like this. Reckon most people would do it in his situation, when everyone in the country tries to tell you how to do your job.

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    Well it's up to the curator. Then after that it's down to the ECB to take the appropriate measures in the interests of the English cricket (just for a change).
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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    It helps Australia as much as it helps us, butit should ensure that the team that bowls better wins, I think I would rather us lose this game than draw it
    Yeah I agree, it would be better to go out with a bang rather than a wimper, I don't think many Aussies would much care for the drawer either tbh, I'm sure most of them would rather win the series out right rather than retain the ashes by default.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    Love it when everyone gets annoyed at a curator when he says something like this. Reckon most people would do it in his situation, when everyone in the country tries to tell you how to do your job.
    A curator's job is to prepare the sort of pitch the administrators tell him to prepare. Telling him how to do his job would be instructing him on what measures are best for preparing a pitch with seam in it. Telling him to prepare a seaming pitch is not telling him how to do his job, it's doing your job.

    The administrators' job is to decide what pitch to tell the curator to try to prepare, the curator's job is to do everything in his power to prepare such a pitch.

  11. #11
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad View Post
    There are some limitations to this insofar as the home team has a responsibility to prepare a wicket that is reasonable for cricket. There has to be some chance of a result, can't be unsafe for play etc.
    Obviously no-one wants rank roads or dangerously uneven decks. But there's nothing at all unreasonable about a deck that seams plenty or turns plenty, or is a bit uneven, or is very quick, or is very slow, even if the game does finish in three days due to it. But many people cry foul at such decks if they're perceived to favour the home team, or even be in an attempt to favour the home team, regardless of whether it ends-up favouring the away team instead.
    I agree though, there'd be nothing wrong with England preparing a surface that favoured them. Not really sure what that would entail, mind you. I can't see a "result wicket" really helping England that much.
    Australia, having the stronger bowling-attack, hold the aces. But a pitch that offers no chance of 40 wickets falling is 100% in Australia's favour; one that makes it very likely is much less in their favour. No-one can magic a pitch that gives any given team a better chance, but you can load the dice. For England, a loss and a draw is the same thing. From England's POV, a result wicket is the most important thing, and what type of result wicket can come next.

  12. #12
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Personally I think if a curator goes out of his way to drastically change the traditional playing characteristics of the wicket then that's going a bit far. But then, given the flat nature of a lot of decks in Australia at the moment, if this guy decides to spice things up a bit at least it'd be better viewing.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    The OP's got it massively wrong saying decks get doctored here.

    As for the meaining of "doctored", plainly the original poster used the word in terms of preparation of a deck to suit one team. What exactly is wrong with that usage is beyond me.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    Personally I think if a curator goes out of his way to drastically change the traditional playing characteristics of the wicket then that's going a bit far.
    Most curators have done that in recent times, making most wickets into uniformly offering nothing much to bowlers. I'm only too happy to see moves made to reverse such trends.

    If a deck is traditionally a runway-esque one (not THAT many decks are such, but there are a handful) I've never got any problem with someone taking drastic measures to get some life into it.

  15. #15
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Most curators have done that in recent times, making most wickets into uniformly offering nothing much to bowlers. I'm only too happy to see moves made to reverse such trends.

    If a deck is traditionally a runway-esque one (not THAT many decks are such, but there are a handful) I've never got any problem with someone taking drastic measures to get some life into it.
    In Australia I always thought it was more a case of the 4 or so years of drought having an effect. I'm happy to see pitches with a bit of life in them too though. i think at least one batsman a game should have at least 2-3 deliveries ricochet of his helmet otherwise the curator should be severely taken to task!

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