Bristol [UK], June 15 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday said that they are disappointed to not be able to provide a fresh pitch for the upcoming women's Test between England and India, beginning Wednesday.
"We are all disappointed that the wicket for the Test match against India will have had 37 overs played on it. We know that England Women deserve a fresh wicket and we are sorry that we were unable to provide that in this instance," an ECB spokesperson said in an official statement.
"With the Test only being added to the calendar in mid-April, coupled with the lack of available first-class grounds, we knew a fresh TV pitch was going to be a challenge."
"We accept that this issue shouldn't have arisen and we will make sure it doesn't happen in the future."
With the exception of Hove - the venue for the second Vitality IT20, for which a hybrid wicket will be used - all other white-ball matches against India will be played on fresh wickets including the opening Royal London ODI at Bristol on the 27th June," it added.
Earlier, England captain Heather Knight said that the pitch which will be used against India in the one-off Test is "not ideal" and she would have preferred to play on a better surface. Knight revealed that the pitch that will be used for the Test was previously used for Gloucestershire's T20 Blast fixture against Sussex last Friday.
"We'd much prefer to be on a fresh one but it is what it is. We found out last week, which obviously we tried to get changed, but it was a little bit too late for that to happen," ESPNcricinfo quoted Knight as saying.
"It's unfortunate, it's not ideal, we'd much rather be on a fresh one, but we don't know how it's going to play yet. It still could play very well. Generally, at Bristol you look at the deck, sometimes it looks not great but actually plays brilliantly. So yeah, look, it's not ideal but it is what it is and we're obviously going to have to perform as best we can on the wicket we're given," she added.
Further talking about the pitch, Knight said: "We don't know how it's going to play necessarily. Obviously slightly different with it being used but we're confident we've got the squad and the XI that we're going to pick to win this Test match."
"It's not something that we can change now. There's no point looking too much into how it will play, we'll obviously try to adapt as much as we can to the situation and how the wicket plays. We've got to go out there now and get our heads round playing on the pitch we've been given," she added.
Talking about the pitch, India captain Mithali Raj said: "We are here to play a match," she said. "Whatever strip we get, we will try and get a result out of it. That's what our thought process is. Whether it's a used wicket or a fresh wicket, as players and captain, I definitely want my team to get a result and for that it's important we put down our strategies accordingly."
India and England women will lock horns in a one-off Test beginning June 16 at Bristol. After that, both sides will square off in three ODIs and three T20Is. (ANI)