A day after the pitch was changed for the match between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals on Monday, the Indian Cricket Board said it was done on the recommendations by its Ground and Pitches Committee and the curator of the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.
"The BCCI would like to confirm that its Ground and Pitches Committee sent recommendations for ground and pitch preparation to all host associations before the start of the IPL season. Included in the same was the advice that 'the pitches should have good pace and consistent bounce'," Chirayu Amin, IPL chairman, said in a statement.
Amin also said that the Committee members have visited a number of the IPL venues both before and, where necessary, during the season, and made appropriate recommendations, the priority being to ensure competitive and quality cricket.
Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne was livid after the pitch was changed for their home match against MS Dhoni-led Super Kings. Rajasthan lost the match by 63 runs.
"In the past four years we have never been told to play on any particular wicket. It is ridiculous to have instructions for pitch," Warne said.
However, Amin said: "Neither of the playing teams has a choice of the wicket, on which to play the game. It is the curator, in consultation with the Ground and Pitches Committee Chairman, who prepares the wickets."
"The wicket used in the match between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, played at Jaipur on 9th May 2011, was as per the decision of the curator and the Ground and Pitches Committee. This decision was taken in the best interests of the game," he added.
"Our primary objective is to provide good playing surfaces, which will be fair to both teams. We have stressed that the best available conditions should be utilized at each venue. The IPL is being played at the end of the Indian domestic season, and after the World Cup. Therefore, the main pitches are bound to have wear-and-tear. The extreme heat prevailing all over the country has also taken its toll. Hence, it becomes necessary to change the pitches in some cases, as good playing conditions will result in good cricket," Venkat Sundaram, Chairman, Ground and Pitches Committee of the BCCI, said.
Earlier, former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi had taken potshots at the Cricket Board officials for changing the pitch for the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur.
"A little birdie just whispered that the big game in Jaipur has been moved to a side wicket on the Square. Why? ask Rca official and CSK ...," Modi wrote on his Twitter page.
"Shows clearly how small things like a pitch selection can affect a game can be used by the powers that be. And it goes unnoticed," Modi wrote.
Rajasthan Cricket Association curator Taposh Chatterjee said the new pitch is pretty normal and there are no demons in it.
"After the Mumbai Indians and the comments made by Sachin Tendulkar the pitch inspector had rushed to Jaipur. He opined that since the old pitches had suffered wear and tear after being in use for quite some time new strips should be prepared for both the remaining home matches. We had prepared the strips in normal manner," Chatterjee said.