“All batters across teams would prefer to leave,” Heinrich Klaasen about the controversial New York Pitch

Heinrich Klaasen

South African cricketer Heinrich Klaasen has expressed that batters are eager to leave the controversial pitch at the Nassau County Stadium in New York. This statement came after South Africa’s low-scoring thriller against Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup on June 10, 2024.

The pitch at the Nassau County Stadium has been a topic of discussion due to its bowler-friendly conditions. The drop-in pitches haven’t had enough time to properly set, and the sandy outfield is not considered fit for top-level cricket. The inconsistency in the pitches has been acknowledged by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and they have reassured that necessary changes will be made to ensure a fair T20 game.

Heinrich Klaasen speaks about batters’ approach at NY

The conditions of the pitch have led to low-scoring games, which are not typical for T20 cricket. In the match against Bangladesh, South Africa found themselves in trouble at 23 for 4 inside the powerplay. Klaasen and David Miller had to adopt a strategy similar to one-day cricket to tackle the challenging pitch. Klaasen scored 46 off 44 balls, and his partnership with Miller proved crucial for South Africa’s narrow victory.

Klaasen stated that all batters across teams would prefer to leave New York, while the bowlers would prefer to stay indefinitely. The pitch conditions have forced the batters to change their mindset completely. They had to adopt a more conservative approach, focusing on getting in and batting at a run-a-ball. This strategy is a stark contrast to the aggressive batting style typically seen in T20 cricket.

“I think all the batters are keen to get out of this place, to be fair. The bowlers would love to stay here but – no we’ve done our job that was the goal to win three out of three here. Obviously, it was a little bit harder than what we thought, but that’s also good preparation for going into the next phase of this competition,” Klaasen said.

Despite the challenging conditions, South Africa managed to record three wins in New York. They are now heading to St. Vincent to face Nepal on June 15. The batters are looking forward to playing on pitches more suited to their style of play.

Also Read: SRFI Partners with WSO to Enhance Officiating and Player Conduct