For the second time in 2022, the Rawalpindi pitch has received a “below average” grade. The most recent rating comes after England’s record-breaking 506 run first day in the first Test against Pakistan earlier this month, which led to a 74-run victory for England.
Even though the game had a clear winner, the bowlers had a difficult time, especially during the first two innings, which saw seven hundreds and totals of 657 and 579. In both of their innings, England scored at a rate much above one run per ball.
The PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had called the pitch “embarrassing” on day two of the Test match and said the match it generated was “not a good advert for Test cricket.”
When awarding a “below average” rating and a demerit point on Tuesday, ICC match referee Andy Pycroft appeared to concur with him.
The match umpire commented on the Rawalpindi pitch
“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. Since there was very little in it for the bowlers, I found the pitch to be ‘below average’ as per the ICC guidelines.”
The first Test of Australia’s tour of Pakistan was played in Rawalpindi in March, and the bat dominated the ball to the point where 1187 runs were made over five days for the loss of just 14 wickets.
Match official Ranjan Madugalle noted that the Test match did not “reflect an even duel between bat and ball,” giving that pitch a “below ordinary” grade as well.
Since then, Rawalpindi has accrued demerit points from a series of Test matches. A venue that accrues five demerit points will have its right to hold international cricket matches for the next five years suspended.
Demerit points are active for a five-year rolling term. A venue receives one demerit point for a “below average” rating, three for “bad,” and five for “unfit,” correspondingly.
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