Anderson: Ashes pitches were doctored
LONDON –– England pacer James Anderson has admitted that the England Cricket Board (ECB) doctored pitches during the recently concluded Ashes series and that England should continue doing it.
After England suffered a heavy 405-run defeat in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s the pitches for the rest of the campaign were turned green at the behest of England coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Alastair Cook. England went on to win two out of the remaining three matches and clinched the series 3-2.
Speaking on an Internet Ashes round-up hosted by popular English actor Stephen Fry, Anderson conceded that England should consider doctoring pitches for all the touring teams. He said that the groundsmen were not forced into doing something and he further accused Australia of doing the same when England were there.
“I think there’s certainly an element where we should have done it more in the past [and] we should do it more in the future. When we go to Australia, they prepare the pitches to suit their team. When we go to India, the same thing happens.
“A big deal was made of it in our conditions here [that] we were telling the groundsmen to do this and that. I’m sure they offered an opinion but it wasn’t a case that we were saying ‘you have to do this’ or ‘you have to prepare that’. Even if we did, everyone else in the whole world prepares pitches to give them home advantage and I don’t see why it should be any different here,” he added.
The 33-year-old went on to say that even though the pitches were manipulated to suit the home team bowlers, scoring runs was not entirely a difficult job. He quoted an example of the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, where Stuart Broad picked up 8 for 15 to help rout Australia for 60 in the first innings. England went on to score 391 for 9 in reply and won the match by an innings and 78 runs within three days.
“All the time, at some stage, guys got runs –– even the game where Broady [Stuart Broad] bowled them out for 60, we then batted on it and got a decent total. It wasn’t as if it was unplayable.”