'Embarrassing', Ian Healy fumes over early watering of Nagpur deck despite Aussie request for practice
"It’s pretty clear isn’t it, their intent with the surfaces they want to play on."
Former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy blasted the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) authorities and groundstaff for watering the Nagpur pitch early despite tourists' request for a couple of net sessions on the worn out turning deck.
The request was made by the visiting Australian team as they sought some valuable practice in the middle following their humiliating loss to India inside three days at the venue in Jamtha.
The idea was to replicate the conditions and get two more days of crucial practice before approaching the next Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Delhi, starting February 17.
But they were denied the opportunity by a questionable refusal to request by the VCA authorities, who ensured early watering of the entire square and ruined the Aussie's planning and preparation.
Healy angered over questionable Indian act, calls for ICC intervention
The incident hasn't gone down well with the Australian cricket community, already at pains over their team's innings & 132-run loss, with Healy accusing India of a conspiracy to deny the tourists adequate practice, subjecting them to unfair treatment and thus gaining all the advantage possible.
Carrying great dismay about VCA paying no heed to the Australian request, Healy went to the extent of calling for ICC intervention in the matter.
"It’s really embarrassing the scuppering of our plans to get some practice sessions on that Nagpur wicket," Healy said on Australia-based SEN.
"That’s not good, that’s just not good for cricket. The ICC needs to step in here. For them to water the wicket unceremoniously when it was requested for practice is horrible and that has to improve."
Australia's head coach Andrew McDonald stressed on how crucial training on the centre wicket in Nagpur was to his team's build-up towards the Delhi Test.
McDonald indicated that the training sessions on what would've been days fourth and fifth of the Test match were going to be really serious and may have even determined team selection.
"It’s pretty clear isn’t it, their intent with the surfaces they want to play on. We were expecting that coming in so as I said before, we’ve been really clear on what we expected," he told SEN.
"When we got here we got exactly that. They’re not naughty boy nets today (the planned session). We’ve got a big squad of 17 players so there’s different people on different training programs. There’ll be a couple of players from the game that will come down, so they’ll be seen at training. But it’s certainly not naughty boy nets, it’s just preparing for the next game."