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Nagpur pitch given official warning by ICC

The Vidarbha Cricket Association in Nagpur has received an official warning from the International Cricket Council (ICC) under the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process after the third Test between India and South Africa, the ICC announced on Monday (December 21).

Jeff Crowe, the ICC match referee, rated the Nagpur pitch as ‘poor’ and felt the pitch did not allow a fair contest between the bat and the ball after the Test ended inside three days.

“In reaching the verdict, the ICC agreed with the ‘poor’ rating given to the pitch by Jeff Crowe, the match referee,” said the ICC release. 

“The finding was made by ICC General Manager - Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and ICC chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, after watching footage of the match, reviewing the post-match reports from Mr Crowe, and considering the response provided by the BCCI.” The third Test in Nagpur saw the ball turning square right from the first session on Day 1 as batsmen struggled to cope with spin. All 40 wickets fell inside the first three days, with spinners accounting for 33 of those. 

The pitch received flak from many former cricketers, including Australia’s Matthew Hayden, England’s Michael Vaughan, and a host of others. 

The Indian camp, however, strongly defended the conditions with Ravi Shastri, the Team director, questioning the batsmen’s ability to apply themselves.

While India made 215 and 173 in their two innings, South Africa were bowled out for 79 and 185, giving the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
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