Top 5 pitch curators of the 21st century
Every sport involves numerous elements which work synchronously to make the game as interesting as possible for the fans. In a movie wherein only the people appearing on the big screen enjoy most of the fame and accolades, in a sport too, only the primary elements of the game receive that adulation from the fans.
In cricket, we often talk about those flawless batsmen and those unplayable bowlers, the coaches and the umpires, the rules of the game, the sizes of the bats, the distance of a six, the outfields and the pitches. In fact, an entire segment in a pre-match show is dedicated to the analysis of the pitch. It is an evidence of how instrumental the condition of the pitch is in deciding the course of a game.
This brings us to one of the most undervalued individuals in the game - the pitch curators. A pitch curator's job is to prepare the best pitch gauging the weather conditions in that region.
Till the 1980s, there was no such dedicated role of a pitch curator. Gradually, the ICC and the experts started realizing the importance of pitch preparation and its impact on the result of a game. Since the start of the 21st century, the role of a pitch curator has become much more concrete.
Let us have a look at 5 of the finest pitch curators of the 21st century who made sure that the contest between the bat and the ball is a fair one.
#5 Michael Hylton - Sabina Park (Jamaica)
Best Known for - Preparing grass-covered pitches helpful for the fast bowlers.
Located in Jamaica, Sabina Park cricket stadium is considered to be one of the fastest wickets to bat on in the world. The pitch most of the time sports a significant grass covering that results in extra pace and swing.
Michael Hylton is the in charge of the pitch. Being an individual who is strictly against the notion of batting friendly wickets that result in high-scoring games, Hylton believes in preparing fast bowling decks that test an individual's batting skills to the core.
Though he emphasizes on the fact that technically sound batsmen who can survive the initial period of discomfort, can capitalize later and score heavily alluding to the knocks of 150 plus by Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith, and KL Rahul.
Out of the 46 Test matches played at Sabina Park overall, 33 have yielded a result. The numbers are even more astonishing for the 21st century with 15 out of the 16 Test matches played yielding results. The single drawn match was a rain-affected one.