The ICC has released a statement following allegations of ‘pitch-swapping’ to favour India in the 2023 World Cup semi-final, confirming that the changes were made at the recommendation of the venue curator in Mumbai.

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According to a report in the Daily Mail, the semi-final was originally scheduled to be played on pitch 7 at the Wankhede Stadium, but was moved to pitch 6. Pitch 7 is unused, whereas pitch 6 has hosted two matches – India v Sri Lanka and England v South Africa.

An ICC spokesperson said: “Changes to planned pitch rotations are common towards the end of an event of this length, and has already happened a couple of times.

“This change was made on the recommendation of the venue curator in conjunction with our host. The ICC independent pitch consultant was apprised of the change and has no reason to believe the pitch won’t play well.”

The statement comes on the back of the Daily Mail report that suggested that changes had been made to assist India’s spinners in the semi-final. Andy Atkinson, ICC’s pitch consultant, was told there was an unspecified problem with pitch 7.

The report states that pitch allocation is done in advance: in this case, it is alleged that a WhatsApp message sent to BCCI and ICC officials on Tuesday confirmed that pitch six would be used.

In an email, Atkinson has claimed to have said that prior changes to the pitch allocation were made “without proper notice or forewarning”.

It is to be noted that the last game on this pitch was played thirteen days ago, between India and Sri Lanka. The other match, between England and South Africa, was played on October 21.

Speaking at the toss, Rohit Sharma said it looked like “a good pitch and on the slower side as well”, while Williamson noted it was “obviously a used pitch”.