Pune pitch gets poor rating from ICC match referee

Chris Broad, who was the ICC match referee for the first Test between India and Australia in Pune, has rated the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium’s pitch used for the match as "poor".

Australia celebrates after defeating India by 333 runs in Pune inside three days.   -  Reuters

Chris Broad, who was the ICC match referee for the first Test between India and Australia in Pune, has rated the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium’s pitch used for the match as "poor". The match ended inside three days in favour of the visitor.

The report has been forwarded to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which has 14 days to respond, said the ICC in a statement.

It was an unexpected result for the series-opener with Australia hammering India by 333 runs, ending the formidable host' 19-match unbeaten run.

"Broad, in accordance with Clause 3 of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, submitted his report to the ICC in which he expressed concern over the quality of the pitch," read the statement further.

The BCCI's response will be reviewed by ICC's General Manager (Cricket), Geoff Allardice, and Ranjan Madugalle from the elite panel of ICC match referees.

It is not the first time that an Indian pitch has attracted negative feedback from the match referee.

In December 2015, the strip used for the third Test between India and South Africa in Nagpur was also rated poor.

Even on that occasion, the match ended within three days with India winning it by 124 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

The ball turned from day one on the Pune pitch but the surface was certainly not unplayable given that Australia managed to cross 250 in both the innings. India could not bat for 74 overs in the two innings combined.