March 29, 2023
Rawalpindi BBC


Rawalpindi BBC

The Rawalpindi pitch on which England won a memorable first Test against Pakistan has been rated as “below average” by the match referee.

Pitches for every international match are rated, with negative ratings resulting in demerit points, the accumulation of which could lead to a suspension of staging rights.

The below average rating has given Rawalpindi one demerit point.

It is the second time this year the ground has been given a demerit point.

The pitch for the drawn first Test between Pakistan and Australia in March was also rated as below average.

If a venue receives five demerit points in a five-year period, it will be suspended from hosting international cricket for 12 months.

The six ratings a pitch or outfield can be given are very good, good, average, below average, poor and unfit.

The flat pitch in Rawalpindi resulted in 1,768 runs being scored, the most in history for a Test played over a maximum of five days.

Despite the lack of encouragement for bowlers, England were able to force a famous victory in the dying moments of the final day.

Match referee Andy Pycroft said: “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.”

England followed up their win in Rawalpindi with success in the second Test in Multan to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. They will look for a clean sweep in the final Test in Karachi, which begins on Saturday.

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