ICC gives strict verdict on Rawalpindi pitch used for 1st Test vs England
By SMCS - Dec 13, 2022 5:47 pm
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Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium could be suspended from hosting international matches after it got two demerit points for the pitch played odd during the Pakistan vs England first Test match. However, ICC rated the pitch as ‘below average and this was the second successive time the pitch has come under the scanner. Earlier, the ‘below-average’ rating came during the Test match against Australia which ended in a draw in March this year and further demerit points could be dangerous for the venue.

Pakistan’s cricket captain Babar Azam inspects the pitch. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

“…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 lost. 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 a period of 12 months,” ICC said in a release.

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However, England won the first Test by 74 runs while playing in an aggressive manner. Many, including PCB chairman Ramiz Raja, believed the pitch was helpful in producing a result. Meanwhile, match referee Andy Pycroft shared 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 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,” he said.

England team
England team

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However, England scored 921 runs in the Test matches which came at nearly 7 runs an over. They also became the first side in the history of Test match cricket to smash 500-plus runs on Day 1. They did that in only 75 overs before the first day’s play came to an end. Pakistan’s reply in the first innings wasn’t too bad as three of their batters scored hundreds and they ended up scoring 579. In the second innings, James Anderson and Ollie Pope sealed the deal in the final two sessions as well. Notably, as many as seven batters scored centuries during the course of the Test match as well.