LONDON: Trent Bridge has escaped with a warning from the International Cricket Council (ICC) after their pitch for the first Investec Test against India was rated ‘poor’ with the ICC adding it was “an unacceptable standard for Test cricket”. It was within the ICC’s remit to hand a fine of up to $15,000 to Nottinghamshire, but limited the punishment having taken into account the history of good Test wickets at the venue, the county’s openness in admitting the surface was far from ideal - plans are being made to relay the surface in the winter - and the fact that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) followed guidelines ahead of the match.
The Test was played on a lifeless surface where the ball regularly failed to carry to the wicketkeeper and slips from the first day. The match featured two huge final-wicket stands - India added 111 and England a world record 198 - as the teams traded first-innings scores of 457 and 496 over much of the first four days before India batted to a draw. An ICC statement said: “In reaching the verdict, the ICC observed that the pitch did not provide a fair contest between bat and ball throughout, and concluded that the pitch prepared for the match was of an unacceptable standard for Test cricket.
The ICC’s general manager - Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and the ICC’s chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, made the decision after David Boon, who was the match referee for the Trent Bridge Test, gave the pitch ‘poor’ rating. It is the first time an international pitch in the UK has been rated as ‘poor’ since a new process for grading pitches was introduced by the ICC in 2010, though pitches in Galle and St Kitts have also been rated poor. In extreme cases, the ICC can also describe a surface as ‘unfit’. If any venue that has had a surface rated ‘poor’ suffers a repeat within a five-year period they facing an automatic sanction of a $30,000 fine.
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