ICC gives 'poor' rating to Wanderers pitch

South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo avoids a bouncer from Mohammed Shami
South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo avoids a bouncer from Mohammed Shami
©REUTERS
 

The International Cricket Council has handed a 'poor' rating to the pitch at New Wanderers in Johannesburg that recently hosted the third Test between India and South Africa.

The pitch had uneven bounce throughout the game where the batsmen were frequently hit in the glove and helmet even prompting to the match officials to consider calling off the game.

As a result, the venue has been sanctioned three demerit points that will remain with the Wanderers over a five-year period and two more such points will lead to a ban in the ground hosting any international cricket for 12 months.

"The pitch prepared for the final Test was a poor one. It had excessively steep and unpredictable bounce, and excessive seam movement," said match referee Andy Pycroft.

"It deteriorated quickly as the match progressed, which made batting extremely difficult and hazardous, resulting in the medical staff from both the sides having to come onto the field of play multiple times to treat their batsmen.

"As the on-field umpires are also responsible for the players' safety, they expressed concerns about the behavior of the pitch, and debated after day three if it was appropriate to continue the match. In the end, the umpires made the decision to continue and the Test reached its natural conclusion on day four.

"However, there was still excessive variable bounce and seam movement when the Test match ended."

The game which ended in four days saw the officials call-off the final hour's play on day three where they had a discussion with both the captains and eventually decided to carry on with the game on the following day.

Former players were vocal about their criticism on the pitch and insisted that the game should have been called-off earlier but Indian players including Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane pressed for the game to carry on.

© Cricket World 2018