Newlands pitch rendered unsatisfactory

todayJanuary 9, 2024 19

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South Africa players celebrate after Nandre Burger runs out Mohammed Siraj of India during day one of the International Test Series 2023/24 game between South Africa and India at Newlands Cricket Ground on 3 January 2024 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rated the Newlands pitch unsatisfactory after the low-scoring ICC World Test Championship clash between South Africa and India.

The decision, made under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, comes after Newlands hosted the shortest-ever completed Test match, with 642 balls bowled in total.

Mohammed Siraj’s 6/15 skittled South Africa for 55 in their first innings, while India managed a 98-run lead on the back of their 153. A brilliant counter-attacking hundred from Aiden Markram proved inadequate in the third innings as India were set a target of 79, winning by seven wickets on day two.

ICC Match Referee, Chris Broad, submitted his report, expressing the concerns of the match officials.

An assessment was then made and deemed the pitch substandard.

“The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on,” Broad said. “The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it difficult to play shots. Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce.”

In the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, if a pitch or outfield is rated as substandard, that venue is allocated certain demerit points.

If a venue reaches six demerit points, it is suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months. The penalty is 24 months in case of 12 demerit points, which remain active for a rolling five-year period.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) have 14 days to appeal against the sanction.

Written by: Ntsako Mukhari

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