Pakistan vs Australia: Rawalpindi pitch rated below average by ICC

ICC Elite Panel Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the pitch at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi and the venue has received one demerit point.

The ICC on Thursday rated the Rawalpindi pitch for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia as 'below average'.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The International Cricket Council (ICC) rated the pitch used for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi as 'below average' on Thursday.

ICC Elite Panel Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the pitch at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi and the venue has received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. Demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period.

Madugalle who forwarded his report to the Pakistan Cricket Board said: “The character of the pitch hardly changed over the course of five days and that there has been no deterioration apart from the bounce getting slightly lower.

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The pitch did not have a great deal of pace and bounce in it for the seamers nor assisted the spinners as the match progressed. In my view this does not represent an even contest between bat and ball.  Therefore, in keeping with the ICC guidelines I rate this pitch as below average.”

In the first Test, Pakistan scored 476-4 declared and 252-0 in its two innings against Australia while the visitor responded with 449 all out, with spinner Nauman Ali scalping six wickets from poor strokes by the Australia batters.

Earlier, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja defended the Pindi pitch and said Pakistan has planned low-bouncy tracks for Australia’s first tour to Pakistan since 1998, keeping in mind the host's strength against a tough opponent.

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On Thursday, Australia opener David Warner too said he hoped for a better surface for the second Test in Karachi. “I just want a game where you can actually create 20 chances,” Warner said Thursday. “It’s something that’s going to be exciting and entertaining for the crowd.”

(With inputs from AP)

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