Newland pitch gets away with ‘unsatisfactory’ grade by ICC

DUBAI : The pitch in Cape Town, where India beat South Africa inside five sessions of a test match last week, has earned one demerit point after being rated “unsatisfactory”, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Tuesday.

The Newlands contest lasted 642 balls with India recording a series-levelling victory in the shortest ever test in which there has been a winner, beating Australia’s 656-ball victory over South Africa in 1932.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar, playing his farewell match, and India rival Rohit Sharma both felt the pitch was below-standard and many would feel the venue got away with a rather light punishment.

“The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on,” match referee Chris Broad said in an ICC statement.

“The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it tough to play shots.

“Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce.”

South Africa, choosing to bat, were bundled out for 55 in their first innings and spinners were not used at all by either of the sides.

Hosts Cricket South Africa have 14 days to appeal against the penalty.

Under the ICC rules, “unsatisfactory” rating incur one demerit point, three points are slapped if a place is found ‘unfit’ under the governing body’s pitch and outfield monitoring process.

These points will stay active for a rolling five-year period.

If a venue gets six demerit points in that time, it is suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months.

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