Mirpur pitch rated ‘below average’ by ICC

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Dhaka, Feb 15 (IANS) For the second time in as many Tests, Bangladesh’s pitches have come under the scanner after the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave a “below average” rating to the Shere Bangla National Stadium’s pitch which hosted the second Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Test last week.

As a result, the Mirpur ground has received one demerit point, which will remain on its record for a five-year period.

If the venue reaches a total of five demerit points during the five-year period, it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months.

Sri Lanka crushed the hosts by 215 runs in a contest in which the highest team total was 226, with the spinners taking 30 of the 38 wickets.

In his remarks, ICC match referee David Boon, who gave the rating, said: “From day one, there was evidence of the ball breaking the pitch surface, which resulted in uneven bounce throughout the match, along with inconsistent turn, which was even excessive at times.”

“This pitch produced a contest that was too heavily skewed in favour of the bowlers, and didn’t give the batsmen a fair chance to display their skills,” he added.

The Chittagong pitch used in the drawn first Test also received a “below average” rating, but that was due to the batsman-friendly nature of the pitch rather than any extreme deterioration.

Last September, the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium pitch also received a below average rating for the Test between Bangladesh and Australia and the outfield was rated “poor”, but the demerit point system was only introduced by the ICC from January 1 this year.



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