The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said that following an appeal by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the demerit point given to Rawalpindi pitch for the first Pakistan-England Test, held from December 1-5 last year, has been rescinded.
The ICC said in a media release that having reviewed footage of the Test Match after the PCB appealed, the ICC appeal panel, consisting of the ICC General Manager – Cricket and Chair of the ICC Men’s Cricket Committee, were unanimous in their opinion that the guidelines had been followed by the Match Referee in accordance with Appendix A of the Pitch Monitoring Process.
At the same time, they added that there were several redeeming features — including the fact that a result was achieved following a compelling game, with 37 out of a possible 39 wickets being taken. As such, the appeal panel concluded that the wicket did not warrant the “below average” rating.
Earlier, on December 13, 2022, the ICC had given a ‘below average’ rating to the pitch, making it the second demerit point for the venue this year after the pitch for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia in March, where 1187 runs were scored overall and only 14 wickets fell across five days, was also rated as “below average”.
While the opening Test of the series saw England managing to win by 74 runs for a famous victory after scoring 506 runs on day one yielded seven centuries from batters in both teams, the pitch came under fire for providing bowlers with very little assistance throughout the five-day contest. Previous PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had labelled the pitch as ’embarrassing’ during lunch break on day two of the match.
“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,” said ICC Match Referee Andy Pycroft at that time.