Umpires Ian Gould (C), Aleem Dar (R) and referee Andy Pycroft had a lengthy discussion on continuing the 3rd Test between India and South Africa.(AFP)
Umpires Ian Gould (C), Aleem Dar (R) and referee Andy Pycroft had a lengthy discussion on continuing the 3rd Test between India and South Africa.(AFP)

Faf du Plessis feels Wanderers might avoid ICC sanction over pitch row

At one time in the third Test between India and South Africa,there were fears that the game could be called off and the ground sanctioned after being given demerit points by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Faf du Plessis is positive about it.
By Somshuvra Laha | Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2018 11:15 PM IST

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis thinks the Wanderers stadium might just avoid a sanction because the third Test completed without any more incident on the fourth day. India won the Test but more importantly the pitch didn’t misbehave as much as on Friday.

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At one time though, there were fears that the game could be called off and the ground sanctioned after being given demerit points by the International Cricket Council (ICC). One of the biggest centres, Wanderers would have lost out on many important fixtures if that happened. No one is still sure about the fate of the ground but du Plessis is positive about it.

“Look I think because we finished the game, I don’t think that will happen. I understand the demerit points if the game was called off, or if it was an absolute stinker that lasted two days, then your demerit points would get a bit more. So I assume that even if this pitch was rated poorly, you’d still be able to come back here for Test cricket,” he said after the match ended on Saturday.

READ | Jasprit Bumrah bowled vs South Africa like a 40-50 Test veteran: Virat Kohli

But du Plessis reiterated his stance of not asking for an extreme pitch. There was some talk about the grass cover on the pitch but the South Africa captain said he hadn’t asked for it. “I’ve said it so many times to the press right through the series. We never asked for something excessive. We never asked for extra grass. All we asked for was a typical South African wicket that has pace and bounce,” he said.

“Although this wicket had pace and bounce, it was obviously a lot more. So I was pretty disappointed with that. It’s disappointing to see that once again we’re not getting it right. I don’t know how to answer it or how to change it, but it obviously needs to improve,” he said.

READ | South Africa’s quota system in selection making team stronger

Du Plessis however was categorical about asking for pitches with pace and bounce in the future too. “Just under the opinion that you must try and get – whether it’s one percent or five percent or ten percent – whatever you can you must try and get an advantage against opposition that’s quality. When we go to India, we certainly don’t play on flat, green tracks. And I assume that there would be a similar conversation happening there,” he said.

“For me it’s just making sure that there’s a conversation happening with the management of our team and also the groundsman about the conditions that would be ideal for a Test series. This Test series we didn’t get that, and I can’t give you the reason for that.”

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