The Pune surface used for the first Test match between India and Australia has been graded poor by the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee, Chris Broad, who has submitted his report to the relevant authorities.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been made aware of the report and will have 14 days to respond, which will be reviewed by the ICC’s General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and Ranjan Madugalle from the Emirates Elite Panel Match Referees.
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The penalty for a pitch that is graded poor for the first time can range from a warning to a fine of USD 15,000. Previously, Nagpur surface used for the Test match between India and South Africa in 2005 has been also rated ‘poor’ by the ICC match officials.
It is also learned that the groundsmen were asked to prepare pitches that would suit spin bowlers well. However, India skipper Virat Kohli has denied passing on any such orders.
The first Test match of a five-match series ended just inside three days, with Australia decimating India to secure a record 333-run win. The pitch showed signs of deterioration and complication, with spin bowlers getting an extra purchase out of the surface right from the first session of play.
According to the ICC’s pitch and outfield monitoring process, a pitch is said to be poor if any of the following apply:
- The pitch offers excessive seam movement at any stage of the match
- The pitch displays excessive unevenness of bounce for any bowler at any stage of the match
- The pitch offers excessive assistance to spin bowlers, especially early in the match
- The pitch displays little or no seam movement or turn at any stage in the match together with no significant bounce or carry, thereby depriving the bowlers of a fair contest between bat and ball
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