ICC’s Shocking Verdict on Centurion Pitch after Boxing Day Test , India vs south africa 1st test.

ICC Rates Centurion Pitch ‘Satisfactory’ after Boxing Day Test

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has deemed the pitch for the Boxing Day Test between South Africa and India at Centurion as ‘Satisfactory,’ avoiding any sanctions. This assessment comes in the wake of criticism surrounding the New Year Test pitch at Newlands in Cape Town, which was labeled ‘Unsatisfactory’ with one demerit point imposed.

Centurion pitch , India vs South Africa 1st T20I.
Centurion pitch , India vs South Africa 1st T20I.

The contrasting ratings have sparked debates among cricket experts, with opinions divided on the quality of the Centurion pitch. While it generated considerable discussion, experts like Sunil Gavaskar argued that the Centurion wicket was as problematic as the Newlands surface, contrary to ICC’s Chris Broad’s interpretation.

The Boxing Day Test at Centurion concluded within three days, with South Africa securing victory by an innings and 32 runs in the last session of the third day. Despite the short duration, the Test witnessed two centuries, one by KL Rahul and the other by Dean Elgar, who came close to achieving a double hundred with a score of 185.

In the second innings, the pitch displayed a different character, leading to India’s collapse for 131 runs in 34.1 overs. Only Virat Kohli (76) and Shubman Gill (26) managed to reach double-digit scores.

dean elgar
dean elgar scored 185 in 1st test , image – getty image.

Sunil Gavaskar, expressing concerns about the Centurion wicket, wrote in a recent column, “Yes, there were two hundreds scored on that surface, but the way the ball regularly shot up from a good length was alarming indeed,” emphasizing that the Centurion pitch was as treacherous as the one at Newlands.

“In addition, if a pitch or outfield is marked as substandard the relevant Home Board and the venue are required to explain why the pitch and/or outfield performed below the required standard. A pitch or outfield is deemed to be substandard if it receives a rating of unsatisfactory or unfit. Sanctions may be applied by ICC to a venue that presents a substandard pitch or outfield for international cricket,” the ICC says.

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The ICC recently implemented changes to the pitch and outfield rating system for international fixtures. The new system comprises only four ratings: very good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory, and unfit, simplifying the previous six-grade scale. Once the match referee provides their view, the ICC’s operations department processes it before finalizing the rating. The feedback is then conveyed to the host Member Board to aid in future pitch and outfield preparations at the venue.

As the cricketing community continues to scrutinize pitch conditions, these assessments play a crucial role in guiding host Member Boards for optimal pitch and outfield preparations in future international matches.

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