Saurashtra Cricket Association has taken objection to Bengal coach Arun Lal’s criticism of the Rajkot pitch for the Ranji Trophy final between the two teams and insisted that the surface was prepared under the guidance of neutral curator from BCCI.

Lal had criticised the wicket at the end of the opening day’s play as too many balls kept low in the final session.

“Very poor wicket. The board has to look into things like these. The ball is not coming up. This is not good for cricket. The ball is not getting off, it is dusting, reversing. Very poor,” Lal, who played 16 Tests and 13 One-Day Internationals for India, had said after the day’s play.

SCA had not reacted to the former India international’s comments on Tuesday but issued a statement on Wednesday (day three) morning, quoting their head curator Mahendra Rajdev during the first session of the third day’s play with the hosts in a comfortable position at 416/9.

“I was surprised to see the rather critical statement of Mr. Arun Lal, the Bengal team Coach and Mentor after the first day’s play when Bengal held the upper hand,” Rajdev was quoted as saying.

“The pitch may not have had extra bounce which Bengal bowlers were looking for, but that does not make the wicket poor.

“It is a rather hasty and poor judgment by the Bengal Coach and it may not be beneficial for their own players when the coach makes a statement like this. It is the same pitch for both the teams, which was prepared under the neutral curator from the BCCI,” he added.

While the ball kept low on day one, the pitch was largely dead on day two where neither wicket-taking or run-scoring was easy. The match has largely been a drab affair so far.

Saurashtra were eventually bowled out for 425 in 171.5 overs. Bengal will now have to aim for a first innings lead as they chase their first Ranji Trophy crown since 1990.