Wanderers pitch escapes ban but garners "poor" rating from ICC

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Wanderers pitch escapes ban but garners "poor" rating from ICC

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SportsCafe Desk


After several instances of players being struck by the ball during the last two innings of the day, the ICC has given the Wanderers pitch 3 demerit points along with a "poor" rating. The ICC said the rating was as a result of the "excessively steep and unpredictable bounce" in the wicket.

The pitch at Johannesburg for the third and final Test between South Africa and India came under intense criticism from the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Shaun Pollock, and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly among others due to the unpredictable bounce and excessive seam movement throughout the four days of play.

"The pitch prepared for the final Test was a poor one. It had excessively steep and unpredictable bounce, and excessive seam movement," ICC match referee Andy Pycroft had said in his match report, an ICC press release read.  

"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 behaviour 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 demerit points will stay active for a rolling five-year period and if during this timeframe the pitch at Wanderers Stadium reaches a total of five demerit points, then it will be banned from hosting any cricketing events for a period of 12 months.

Despite the odds stacked against them, and trailing the series 2-0, India went on to stage an impressive comeback in the third Test as they beat South Africa by a margin of 63 runs with Bumrah claiming a 5 wicket haul in the second innings.

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