Cricket fans slam 'absolute joke' after ICC changes rating of Indore pitch
The pitch for the third Test between Australia and India has been upgraded from 'poor' to 'below average'.
The ICC has been torched by cricket fans and commentators over a staggering backdown regarding their rating of the pitch for the third Test between Australia and India. The ICC originally rated the pitch in Indore 'poor', which would have resulted in three demerit points for the venue.
But after an appeal from the Indian cricket board (BCCI), the ICC announced on Monday that they'd upgraded the rating to 'below average'. It means the Indore venue will now only receive one demerit point in a huge reprieve.
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Venues that accumulate five demerit points over a five-year period are banned from hosting international cricket for a period of 12 months. Three demerit points would have been a huge blow for the venue, with intense scrutiny placed on all the pitches for the four-Test series between Australia and India.
After reviewing footage of the match - which Australia won by nine wickets - the ICC appeal panel found that there was not enough "excessive variable bounce" to warrant the 'poor' rating. The ICC said in a statement: "Instead, the appeal panel concluded that the pitch should be rated as 'below average'. Consequently, one demerit point has been awarded to the venue for the 'below average' rating."
Match referee Chris Broad, who gave the initial rating of 'poor', stated in his original report: “The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start. The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match.”
Controversy erupts over pitch rating for third Test
Aussie greats Mark Waugh and Matthew Hayden were highly critical of the pitch at the time. “The ball going through the top within the first 20 minutes of the Test match. That’s not good enough,” Waugh said on Fox Sports, describing the surface as "not up to Test standard".
Hayden said during commentary: “This is why I’ve got a problem with these conditions. There’s no way in the world that a spin bowler should come on in the sixth over.
“You’ve got to give batters a chance … Day one, day two should be about batting. Forget the result, don’t worry about if Australia win or lose or India win or lose, it shouldn’t be like that in Test match cricket.”
The first three pitches of the series offered plenty of uneven bounce and spin, before curators prepared a lifeless, flat wicket for the fourth match due to the fact India only needed a draw to win the series. India appeared to get spooked by Australia's spinners when their plans to produce spin-friendly pitches backfired on them in the third Test. Nathan Lyon took eight wickets in the second innings as the Aussies fought back to reduce the series margin to 2-1 after they were comprehensively outplayed in the first two matches.
Cricket fans flocked to social media on Monday to slam the ICC for changing their rating. Many pointed out the incredible influence the BCCI seems to wield over the ICC.
On appeal, the rating for Indore pitch upgraded from “poor” to “below average”. Someone needs to appeal the Ahmedabad rating of “average”. How that wasn’t rated “poor” reflects poorly on ICC pitch criteria. They’d still be playing if it was a timeless Test. #INDvAUS
— Andrew Wu (@wutube) March 27, 2023
The only change to the Indore pitch rating should have been from "poor" to "extremely poor". That was a disgraceful pitch.
— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) March 27, 2023
No surprises there as the @BCCI has it all over the @ICC
— Simon Harrison (@simonharrison5) March 27, 2023
What an absolute joke !!
— Jonathon Mann (@themann) March 27, 2023
You can’t be serious!!!
— Drew Semmens (@drewie_5) March 27, 2023
Every time the richest board BCCI appeals to ICC
— ً (@SarcasticCowboy) March 27, 2023
What a disgrace. Pandering to the money again! Get a back bone !
— Pete Firman (@FirmanPete) March 27, 2023
Why am I not surprised by the ICC rolling over.
— Michael Fazio (@bluebagger66) March 27, 2023
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