ICC backflips on ‘poor’ Indian pitch call

The ICC has bowed to pressure from the powerful BCCI and upgraded the rating given to the pitch used for the third Test between Australia and India.

The Holker Stadium pitch was originally rated as “poor” after the match lasted less than seven of the scheduled 15 sessions.

Australia won the match by nine wickets, with spinners claiming 18 of the 19 wickets taken by the visiting bowlers.

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Match referee Chris Broad said the pitch “did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start.”

“The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match.”

The BCCI appealed the Broad’s rating and the ICC has now upgraded it to “below average”.

The appeal was heard by the governing body’s general manager of cricket, Wasim Khan, and former West Indian all-rounder Roger Harper.

“Both were of the opinion that, while the guidelines had been followed by the match referee in accordance with Appendix A of the pitch monitoring process, there was not enough excessive variable bounce to warrant the ‘poor’ rating,” the ICC said in a statement.

Follow the ruling, the Holker Stadium pitch will now only receive one demerit point instead of three.

The ground only had about two weeks’ notice it was hosting the match after the match was shifted from Dharamsala when that ground’s outfield was deemed unsuitable to stage the match.

The other three pitches used in the series were rated “average”.

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