Rohit Sharma Retires Hurt in India’s Opening T20 World Cup Game

India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, retired hurt after a powerful knock in their opening match against Ireland in New York in a thrilling start to the T20 World Cup.

Sharma was hit on the upper arm by a delivery from Josh Little in the ninth over. Despite the injury, he smashed the next two balls for six before walking off the field, having scored an impressive 52 off 37 balls.

Rohit Sharma Retires Hurt in India’s Opening T20 World Cup Game
Photo Credit: ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images

After India’s eight-wicket victory, Sharma addressed the situation during the post-match presentation. “I’m just a little sore,” he remarked. He acknowledged the unpredictability of the pitch, noting, “It’s a new ground, new venue, drop-in pitch, and we weren’t aware of what it would be like playing on a pitch that is five months old. It was all about adapting to the conditions, which is why we chose to bowl first. The wicket remained challenging even when we batted second.”

Rishabh Pant also faced difficulties on the same pitch, being struck by Josh Little in the 11th over. Despite needing attention from the physio, Pant continued his innings, finishing unbeaten with 36 off 26 balls.

Expert Opinions on the New York Pitch

Andy Flower’s Critique

Former Zimbabwe batter and England head coach Andy Flower expressed strong criticism of the New York pitch, describing it as “bordering on dangerous.” Flower highlighted the erratic bounce and the potential safety hazards for batsmen, pointing out that the ball was unpredictably bouncing from a length and occasionally skidding low.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s Analysis

Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar suggested that there were significant issues with the pitch’s preparation. He noted that the problem might stem from factors beyond the ground staff’s control, despite their best efforts. Manjrekar emphasized that while the intent to create a good playing surface was clear, something inherent seemed to be wrong with the base of the pitch.

Also Read: India’s Dominating Victory over Ireland with Stellar Bowling on Challenging Pitch in T20 World Cup

Broader Implications for Cricket in New York

The problematic pitch conditions were also evident in the game between Sri Lanka and South Africa on June 3, played on a different surface in New York. Both matches saw batsmen struggling significantly, raising concerns about the suitability of the venue for international cricket.

Social Media Reactions

Former international cricketers voiced their criticisms on social media. Michael Vaughan labeled the pitch as “sub-standard” and “shocking,” while Wasim Jaffer humorously remarked that it was an effective way to get the American audience “hooked on to Test cricket disguised as T20.”


As cricket continues to expand to new venues like New York, the quality and safety of the pitches remain paramount. The early experiences in this T20 World Cup highlight the challenges and learning curves associated with bringing the sport to new locations. It remains to be seen how the organizers will address these issues to ensure fair and safe playing conditions for all teams.

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