New Delhi, Dec 13 (Ajit Weekly News) The pitch in Rawalpindi that was used during the first Test between Pakistan and England from December 1-5 has received a ‘below average’ rating from the ICC.
This is the second demerit point for the venue this year. The pitch used for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia in March, where 1187 runs were scored overall and only 14 wickets fell across five days, was also rated as “below average”.
While the opening Test of the series, which England managed to win by 74 runs after scoring 506 runs on Day One, yielded seven centuries from batters in both teams, the pitch came under fire for providing bowlers with very little assistance throughout the five-day contest.
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had earlier labelled the pitch as ’embarrassing’ during lunch break on Day Two of the Test match and now the ICC seems to agree with it.
“It was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler. That was the main reason why batters scored very fast and both sides posted huge totals.”
“The pitch hardly deteriorated during the course of the match. Since there was very little in it for the bowlers, I found the pitch to be “below average” as per the ICC guidelines,” said ICC Match Referee Andy Pycroft.
ICC also said that Pycroft’s report on the Rawalpindi pitch has been forwarded to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). It means the venue has now received two demerit points from consecutive Tests under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process and could be in danger of being suspended from hosting any international cricket if more demerit points are given.
Demerit points remain active for a rolling five-year period and when a venue accumulates five demerit points it is suspended from staging any international cricket for 12 months. Having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, England now aim for a rare series sweep in Pakistan when the third and final Test at Karachi takes place from December 17-21.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S