Brendon McCullum © Getty Images
Brendon McCullum © Getty Images

The BPL organisers took pride in having quality players in this year’s edition. However, they have been slammed by several players for the choice of pitches. It all started with Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Mortaza criticising the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium after the Rangpur Riders-Comilla Victorians clash. Victorians needed to chase 98 within 20 overs. They chased the target in 19.3 overs. Tamim and Mortaza claimed the nature of the wicket was slow.

BCB had even sent a warning letter to Tamim, asking him to appear before the Chief Executive after the tournament. Brendon McCullum has joined the bandwagon of slamming the pitches at the venue. The pitches curb players to play freely with their willow, opines McCullum. The New Zealander has also called for improvement in umpiring ahead of the knockouts.

Talking to ESPNcricinfo, McCullum narrated the various problems cricketers are facing in BPL.

“I thought it was a very poor wicket”

“I think there’s a lot of very, very good, world-class players in this tournament. I thought it was a very poor wicket. 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 saw.”

“It is very hard to come in to the tournament where you cannot trust the pitch”

“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. Guys were telling me that pitches were very good couple of years ago. It is very hard to come in to 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.”

“Need to ensure the umpiring is very good”

“When we batted, 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 doesn’t go your way can affect you. Johnson Charles today, who was looking in good touch, especially for a guy who hadn’t played in a while, he could have gone deeper into the innings.”