Nagpur pitch rated as ‘poor’ by ICC Match Referee
In a major embarrassment for BCCI, the ICC on Tuesday rated the track at Nagpur which hosted the third cricket Test between India and South Africa as “poor”, triggering a review of the performance of the pitch under the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process.
In accordance with Clause 3 of the Process, ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe submitted his report to the ICC expressing the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch. This report has been forwarded to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which now has 14 days to provide its response.
The pitch at the Vidarbha cricket ground at Jamtha, which is BCCI president Shashank Manohar’s home association, saw ample turn from the very first day resulting in the game being over within three days. Manohar, interestingly, is currently also the ICC chairman.
After the BCCI submits its response, ICC’s General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and the ICC’s Chief Match Referee, Ranjan Madugalle, will consider all the evidence, including studying video footage of the match, before reaching their decision on whether or not the pitch was poor and if so, whether a penalty should be imposed.
The ICC will make no further comments until Allardice and Madugalle have reached their decision. The Nagpur Test was played from 25-27 November in which India scored 215 and 173, while South Africa scored 79 and 185.
The pitch received flak from many former cricketers, including Australia’s Matthew Hayden, England’s Michael Vaughan, and a host of others.
However, the Indian captain Virat Kohli and Team director Ravi Shastri had strongly defended the pitch, saying that there was nothing wrong with the track.
Shastri had even gone to the extent of saying: “Which rule tells me that a ball can’t turn on day one? Where does it tell me in the rulebook it can only swing and seam?”
However, the visiting South African team had not lodged any complaints nor they made any critical comments on the pitch.