Pitch fiasco was a much-used phrase in the last few months after what happened in Delhi. I had been there the day before when a beaming curator asked me, “What do you think of the colour of the pitch?” I had replied like I always did, diplomatically massaging egos, “Very good. There is grass on the pitch. How did you do it? It was so brown last time.” He had beamed more. One day later, he wasn’t there when the stadium was being torn to shreds by angry spectators.
Today, there could have been a mini demo of a pitch fiasco when the guys tending to the DYP one had dug a hole for the microphone… right in the way of a right-arm fast medium bowler’s run-up at the pavilion end. Again, I was there. This time, there was this guy in a white shirt who thought the hole wasn’t in the right place. He called the guy who’d dug it and they began discussing a bowler’s run-up. The guy who dug it reasoned that the umpire would stand near it so bowlers were going to go around him, and the hole. The guy in the white shirt seemed satisfied with this argument. I slipped into the argument as well and stood where the guy who dug it thought the umpire would stand. “I think it is fine,” they all reasoned. In my permanent massaging ego diplomacy mode, I went with their reason.
An hour later, Abey Kuruvilla walked up to the pitch and the first thing he said was, “Who dug this hole here?” Everyone around said, matter-of-factly, “The guy who dug it”. “Call him”. “That is exactly what I’ve been saying,” chipped in the guy in the white shirt.