Sri Lanka Warned Over 'Poor' Galle Test Pitch
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has warned Sri Lanka after it prepared what it termed a 'poor' pitch for the recent first Test against Australia in Galle.
The match, won by Australia by a margin of 125 runs, was played between 31st August and 4th September and featured high levels of spin and bounce from the opening day.
Match referee Chris Broad initially raised his concerns, submitting a report to the ICC following the match.
"We have come to a decision that the pitch prepared for the match should be rated as 'poor'," David Richardson, ICC General Manager - Cricket, said in a statement.
"It was clear from the video footage of the match that the amount of turn, especially early in the match, was excessive and there were occasions (even on the first day) where the ball went through the surface of the pitch, bouncing unusually steeply from a good length.
"Whilst it is understandable and acceptable for a pitch to deteriorate over the course of the match, for a pitch to exhibit this type of behavior at relatively early stages of the match was not acceptable. Whilst we do not wish to see a pitch that is too heavily weighted in favour of the batsmen, in this instance, the balance was just too much in favour of the bowler."
"However, taking into account that it was the first time that a pitch at Galle has been rated as "poor" and given the intention of the curator to prepare a pitch that provided a fair balance between bat and ball, we have decided to impose a warning as the sanction.
"We have also directed that ICC's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson carry out an inspection of the square with a view to making recommendations to ensure that in future the manner of preparation is in line with what is required to ensure that a better balance between bat and ball is achieved."
Atkinson will carry out an inspection on the square and make recommendations should any furthercorrective action be needed.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will then be required to report back to the ICC confirming that any necessary corrective actions have taken place before they can stage another international match at the ground.
© Cricket World 2011