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Buttler has ‘integrity’ concerns about state of field at England’s next venue at Cricket World Cup

DHARAMSHALA, India — England captain Jos Buttler believes the “integrity of the game” could be compromised by the state of the outfield in Dharamshala for his team’s match against Bangladesh at the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.

The field of play at HPCA Stadium is causing concerns and Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman came close to a bad injury on Saturday when his knee got stuck in the surface as he slid to stop a boundary.

The International Cricket Council said the outfield was rated “average” by the officials at that Afghanistan-Bangladesh game and match referee Javagal Srinath was satisfied with it after a fresh inspection.

“I think it’s poor, in my own opinion. It’s not as good as it could be or should be,” Buttler said at a news conference Monday. “Certainly if you feel like you’re having to hold yourself back, it’s not a place you want to be as a team or as a player or in a World Cup match.”

In an interview with the BBC, Buttler added: “The powers-that-be are comfortable. ... The only thing I would question is, if you are telling players not to dive and stuff, does that question the integrity of the game?

“Worse-case scenario is something bad happens, but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen for both teams.”

Buttler was unhappy at the idea of his team needing to hold back.

“Any time you’re talking about being careful diving, or maybe being careful when you’re fielding, it goes against everything you want to be as a team,” Buttler said. “You want to dive through a row of houses to save a run. So it’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is.”

Buttler said Ben Stokes was unlikely to feature after missing the opening defeat to New Zealand with a hip injury.


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