After the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, the International Cricket Council (ICC) slapped the pitch three demerit points, and deemed it “poor”. If a track gets five demerit points, then it is banned from hosting international matches for 12 months.
“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favoring spinners from the start,” ICC’s match referee Chris Board has stated in the ICC press statement. “The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match.”
Now recent reports claim that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating challenging ICC’s decision. “We will take stock of the situation and decide,” a BCCI official told the Indian Express.
What does ICC’s law states about challenging its decision?
The BCCI can challenge the decision, but they have to do it within 14 days, as per ICC’s rule. The Indian apex body is yet to make a final call on the same. On the Indore turner, a total of 30 wickets fell with the spinners picking up 25 of them on the first two days. Right from the beginning of the Test, discussions on social media started because the metrics showed 4.8 degrees of turn.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had also challenged ICC’s decision when the latter rated the Rawalpindi pitch “below average” after the Test match between Pakistan and England. “It was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler,” Andy Pycroft of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees said as quoted by ICC.
After PCB’s appeal, the demerit point was rescinded. That time, PCB chairman Najam Sethi had confirmed that they had written a letter to the ICC for the same. That match was won by the visitors by 74 runs.
It will be interesting to see if cricket’s apex body withdraws the demerit points if the BCCI challenges the Indore pitch rating. Even if the BCCI appeal to the ICC, the latter may not take those demerit points back given that the pitch was rated “poor”.
The fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be played at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. India have retained the trophy but they need to win this match for their smooth advancement to the ICC World Test Championship Final, where they will meet Australia again at The Oval in June this year.
Gouri Das is a cricket writer at FirstSportz. Despite always being a sporty kid, she disliked being inactive in one place for a long time to watch a match. But after the Ind vs Pak match of the 2016 Asia Cup, she rather got glued to the TV screen. That year she watched the major cricket tournaments, WWE matches, and the Olympics (especially Usain Bolt's races). After reading about the big names in tennis and becoming an ardent follower, she dreams of visiting Wimbledon one day.
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