ICC rates Rawalpindi pitch ‘below average’ for second time within year

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RAWALPINDI: The pitch used in the Rawalpindi Test – the first of the three-match series between Pakistan and England – has been rated below average by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday. 

The pitch which yielded around 1768 runs throughout the course of five days, has earned its second demerit point within a year for providing little to no assistance to the bowlers.

According to the ICC, match referee Andy Pycroft released his findings on Tuesday and the venue received its second consecutive rating of ‘below average’ since the same rating was given to the pitch after the first Test between Pakistan and Australia in March, earlier this year.

“It was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler. 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.” Pycroft said.

“Since there was very little in it for the bowlers, I found the pitch to be “below average” as per the ICC guidelines.” he added.

Pycroft’s report has also been forwarded to the Pakistan Cricket Board

After receiving consecutive demerit points under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, the venue is at serious risk of getting suspended from hosting any international cricket if more demerit points are lost.

According to ICC guidelines, when a venue accumulates five demerit points (or crosses that threshold), it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months, while a venue will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 24 months when it reaches the threshold of 10 demerit points.

It is pertinent to mention here that many batting records were tumbled on the flat Rawalpindi surface during the first Test, including the highest total scored and four centurions on the opening day of a Test match. England smashed 506/4 with help of astounding hundreds from Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook and Ollie Pope on the first day.

England sealed a sensational 74-run win against Pakistan in Rawalpindi Test following a tense final session on the final day.

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