ICC Committee ‘concerned’ about quality of ‘Test pitches’
“The committee also discussed a number of other issues relating to Test cricket, believing a coordinated approach to the marketing of Test cricket was needed, and also expressing concern about the quality of Test pitches, and in particular the common practice of home countries overtly preparing surfaces to suit their own teams,” an ICC release stated.
Interestingly, it was current ICC chairman Shashank Manohar’s home ground in Nagpur that received a lot of flak and got an official warning from the ICC’s Pitches and grounds Committee after a Test match between India and South Africa finished in two and half days.
Also Ravi Shastri, who is a Media Representative in this Cricket Committee, was India’s ‘Team Director’ during the series. Both Manohar and Shastri, however, were not present at the meeting as per the release sent by ICC. Another key member of the committee and former India captain and current India A coach Rahul Dravid had also expressed his concerns last year about quality of pitches prepared in Ranji Trophy to get outright results.
“The committee received a presentation on ICC’s plans to bring greater structure and context to international cricket by creating dedicated competitions in each of the game s three formats, and there was unanimous agreement from committee members that the current structure of international cricket needed to change.”
There were discussions on how Day-Night Test cricket could be spread keeping all the checks and balances.
The release said stated that day-night Test cricket needs to be delivered with a consistently high standard across all member countries, noting that the combination of ball, pitch, lighting levels and environmental conditions allows for an even contest between bat and ball at all proposed day-night Test venues.
Int’l cricket body suggests limiting dimension of bats
With an objective to restore balance in the game, the Anil Kumble-led Cricket Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has suggested that the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) should strongly consider limiting the dimensions of bats.
Expressing concern that cricket was increasingly becoming a batsman’s game, the committee, which met at the Lord’s ground on Thursday, was of the opinion that bats have become more powerful with larger ‘sweet-spots’ in recent times.
“The committee’s view was that MCC should strongly consider limiting the dimensions of cricket bats to help achieve a better balance between bat and ball,” an ICC release said.
“MCC sought the committee’s guidance on the desirability of making changes in order to redress the balance between bat and ball. The Committee received a research paper from MCC citing a wealth of scientific and statistical evidence showing bats have become more powerful in recent years, primarily due to having larger ‘sweet-spots’,” it added.
The committee —consisting of former international captains Rahul Dravid, Mahela Jayawardene, Andrew Strauss along with former Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri (media representative) — also expressed concern that a lot of batsmen were not using helmets which conform to British Safety Standard (BSS). “The committee considered the matter of helmet safety following a presentation on injury surveillance trends by ICC medical consultant Dr Craig Ranson. The committee expressed concerns that there were still too many instances of international cricketers wearing helmets which did not meet the latest British Safety Standard (BSS),” it said.