The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rated the pitch which was used in the Day-Night Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad as ‘average’. This means that no demerit points or no sanctions will be imposed, which could have been had the track was rated ‘below average’ or ‘worse’.
The third Test which was played with pink-ball ended in less than two days and was heavily criticized, mostly former England and Australia players for assisting spinners from the first session.
Under the new ICC rules, modified in January 2018, an ‘average’ rating escapes any criticism and was fit for Test cricket. Also, the pitch of the first Test, which went into the fifth day is given a ‘Very Good’ rating while the second and fourth are rated as ‘Average’ and ‘Good’.
The pitch rating is given by the match referee in consultation with the umpires. The umpires were generally not from host nations. But due to the covid pandemic created issues, the ICC has allowed using home umpires.
However, it has been clarified, according to Cricbuzz, that the ICC was also involved in the process of grading the pitch with the match officials. That way the decision cannot be accused of being ‘biased’ as Javagal Srinath was the match referee.
While rating the third Test, which ended in a record time in little over five sessions, the history of Day-Night Tests and the nature of the pink-ball was considered. Of the 16 Pink Ball Tests so far, only five have gone to the fifth day, with two of them ending inside two days and five inside three days. Four day/night Tests ended on Day Four.
ICC rules on pitch rating:
In the revised ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, In January 2018, 1 demerit point will be awarded to venues whose pitches are rated as ‘below average’; 3 and 5 demerit points will be awarded to venues whose pitches are marked as ‘poor’ and ‘unfit’, respectively. Demerit points will remain active for a 5-year period.
When a venue accumulates 5 demerit points or surpasses that cut-off, it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months;if a venue accumulates 10 demerit points it cannot stage international cricket for 24 months.
No one wrote about the pitch when India lost to New Zealand in 3 days: Virat Kohli
During the Test series, Indian captain, Virat Kohli has blasted the detractors for criticizing the pitches in India. He pointed out that when the team lost Tests in New Zealand last year inside three days, nobody talked about the extensive seam movement the tracks offered.
“It would have been lovely if you had asked us this question when we were on an England, New Zealand, or Australia tour. Not when you’ve seen two turning pitches in India. There’s always too much noise and too much conversation about spinning tracks.
“We lost in New Zealand on Day 3 in 36 overs, I’m sure none of our people as well wrote about the pitch, it was all about India played badly in New Zealand. And none of the pitches were criticised. No one came and saw how much the pitch was doing, how much the ball was moving and how much grass there was on the pitches,” said the Indian skipper during the Test series.