New Zealand all-rounder James 'Jimmy' Neesham on Tuesday joked about England’s continuous whining regarding pitches in India during the four-match Test series in Chennai and Ahmedabad. Neesham said England is being grumpy about pitches at the moment when asked if an independent curator has ever been more important in a game of cricket before.
“The ECB is a little bit grumpy about the pitch quality at the moment around the world so we don’t know what’s going to turn up,” Neesham said while talking on The Grade Cricketer podcast on Tuesday.
The recently-concluded Test series between India and England was marred by pitch controversy after some cricket experts, particularly those from the United Kingdom, blamed the spinning tracks for English cricketers’ poor performances in India. Experts called the spinning surfaces “unplayable” and not good for Test cricket after they suffered a huge loss in the third game.
Neesham, while taking a jibe at the controversy, mocked the English Cricket Board for being grumpy about the pitches, adding “don’t know what’s going to turn up in Southampton”. The final of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand is going to be held in Southampton, England.
On a more serious note, Neesham talked about New Zealand’s turnaround in Test cricket from being one of the bottom-ranked teams before the WTC began to now having a chance to be crowned the best Test team in the world. Neesham credited the team management, including Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson for playing a key role in the players’ development.
When asked about New Zealand players being under-represented in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Kiwi all-rounder said it is because of the Big Bash League (BBL), which the scouts and owners follow really closely and pick players on the basis of their performances in the tournament. Neesham said that BBL is probably potentially an avenue for New Zealand cricketers to look for if they wanna get picked up by IPL teams. Neesham, who played for Punjab in the 2020 season, was sold for his base price of Rs. 50 lakh in the auction this year and will represent Mumbai.
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