Huge setback for Pakistan as ICC passes strict verdict on Rawalpindi pitch used for 1st Test vs England
ICC match referee Andy Pycroft released his findings on the Rawalpindi pitch used for the Pakistan vs England first Test match. The pitch was widely criticised by fans and experts alike.
Pakistan's Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is now in danger of being suspended from hosting international matches after it was given two demerit points for the pitch dished out during the Pakistan vs England first Test match. ICC rated the pitch as 'below average. This was the second consecutive time the venue's pitch came under the scanner. The previous 'below-average' rating came during the Test match against Australia which ended in a draw in March this year. Further demerit points could spell doom for the venue.
"...the venue has now received two demerit points from consecutive Tests under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process and could be in danger of being suspended from hosting any international cricket if more demerit points are lost. Demerit points remain active for a rolling five-year period and when a venue accumulates five demerit points it is suspended from staging any international cricket for a period of 12 months," ICC said in a release.
England won the first Test by 74 runs in a dramatic fashion but it was due to their bold and courageous display in all departments. Many, including PCB chairman Ramiz Raja, believed the pitch was conducive to producing a result.
Match referee Andy Pycroft released his findings on Tuesday. “It was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler," Pycroft said. "That was the main reason why batters scored very fast and both sides posted huge totals.
"The pitch hardly deteriorated during the course of the match. Since there was very little in it for the bowlers, I found the pitch to be 'below average' as per the ICC guidelines," he said
England scored 921 runs in the Test matches at nearly 7 runs an over. They also became the first side in the history of Test match cricket to notch up 500-plus runs on Day 1. They did that when only 75 overs were bowled in the first day's play. Pakistan's reply in the first innings wasn't too bad either. Three of their batters scored hundreds and they ended up with 579. In the second innings, James Anderson and Ollie Pope got the ball to reverse in the final two sessions to snatch a thrilling victory. As many as seven batters got to three figures during the course of the Test match.