Rangpur Riders’ New Zealand recruit Brendon McCullum termed the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium wicket in Dhaka as poor for T20 cricket following their BPL 2017 match against Dhaka Dynamites Wednesday.
Rangpur lost by 43 runs after scoring only 94 while chasing 137. Dhaka were also struggling during their batting at one stage as they managed to post only 49 in their first 10 overs, losing five wickets.
Questions have been raised recently regarding the Mirpur wicket as Rangpur captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza and Comilla Victorians skipper Tamim Iqbal expressed frustration about the low and slow nature of the pitch Saturday. Later, Tamim received a show cause letter from the BCB due to his critiscism about the pitch.
And former New Zealand captain McCullum also voiced frustration during the post-match press conference after their defeat against Dhaka.
“I thought it was a very poor wicket. I think there’s a lot of very, very world-class players in this tournament. People want to turn up and be able to watch some of the best players in the world which allows them to play exciting cricket. But I personally don’t think that was exciting cricket. I think the tournament can benefit from better surfaces than the one we just seen,” said McCullum.
McCullum also believes the quality of umpiring needs improvement as a few decisions went against them Wednesday.
“When we batted, a couple of decisions could have gone the other way. As the tournament gets into the business end, you need to ensure the umpiring is very good. On a surface like this, any decision which don’t go your way can affect you,” McCullum explained.
“I think Bangladesh has some good umpires, but I just think the quality of decision-making, when the pressure is on and there are big games to come in the next week, is so important.
“We are playing for big stakes. Winning this tournament means a lot to a lot of people. We just need consistent decision-making, and I am very confident that there a lot of good umpires in Bangladesh,” he said.
McCullum has not been in the best of form so far with the bat in BPL 5, scoring only 152 runs in nine innings at an average of just 16.88. He admitted he needs to perform better but also said it is tough for a stroke-maker like him to score on inconsistent pitches.
“Everyone wants to score more runs but I think you have seen over the years that my game is suited to wickets that are different than what we have seen so far. You can’t trust the bounce and pace of the wicket. We have seen balls that have gone through the top,” said the right-handed batsman.
“Guys were telling me that pitches were very good a couple of years ago. It is very hard to come into the tournament as a stroke-maker when you can’t trust the pitch. Of course my performance needs to be better. But it will be nice to have a surface that is more consistent and has more pace about it; I will look forward to it,” the 36-year old concluded.