Saturday, July 13, 2024

Rawalpindi pitch receives the “below average” rating from ICC for the 2nd time, could face suspension

The Rawalpindi pitch has earned a “below average” rating for the second time in 2022. The latest rating follows the first Test between Pakistan and England earlier this month, in which England racked up a record 506 runs on day one to set up an eventual 74-run win.

Though the match ended in a decisive result, there was little joy for the bowlers, particularly in the first two innings, which produced seven centuries and totals of 657 and 579.

In both innings, England scored more than a run per ball. On day two of the Test match, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had termed the pitch “embarrassing” and suggested that the contest it produced was “not a good advert for Test cricket.”

Flat Pitch

ICC match referee Andy Pycroft seemed to agree with him while handing out a “below average” rating and a demerit point on Tuesday. “It was a very flat pitch, which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler,” Pycroft said. “That was the main reason why batters scored very quickly and both sides posted huge totals.”

Below Average

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.

In March, when Rawalpindi hosted the first Test of Australia’s tour of Pakistan, the bat dominated the ball to the extent that 1187 runs were scored for the loss of only 14 wickets over five days. That pitch had earned a “below average” rating too, with match referee Ranjan Madugalle noting that the Test match did not “represent an even contest between bat and ball.”

Demerit Points

Rawalpindi has now received demerit points in successive Test matches. Demerit points remain active for a five-year rolling period, and a venue stands to be suspended from hosting international cricket for a period of five years if it accumulates five demerit points.

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