Friday, May 9, 2008

ICC warns BCCI over sub-standard pitch at Kanpur

In a major embarrassment for the BCCI, the ICC on Friday censured the Indian Cricket Board for preparing a poor quality pitch for the third Test between India and South Africa in Kanpur last month.

The game's world governing body also recommended that the BCCI take remedial action to ensure a similar pitch is never prepared in future at that venue.

To that end, the BCCI's pitch consultant Daljit Singh has been asked to assist the process.

The BCCI, on its part, accepted the warning and has promised to undertake the necessary action to ensure the pitch at Kanpur is improved for future international matches.

"I thank the ICC for its input and decision in relation to this and I can assure everyone that we will take all steps necessary to ensure this does not happen in the future," said BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah.'

The pitch, on which India won the third and final Test to level the series 1-1 against South Africa, saw 32 wickets fall in three days play.

It came in for sharp criticism from the visitors with Proteas coach Micky Arthur saying that the track was one of the most under-prepared in the world.

At that point match referee Roshan Mahanama, who oversaw the Test, submitted a report to the ICC expressing his concern over the quality of the playing surface.

Following these reports ICC CEO Dave Richardson warned the BCCI for future.

"We have come to a decision that the pitch prepared for the match should be rated as 'poor'," Richardson said.

"We have taken into consideration the explanations offered by the BCCI as to the reasons for the dryness of the pitch and we have noted that there is no previous record of a sub-standard pitch being prepared in Kanpur.

"However, taking all the evidence into account and, in accordance with clause 4.2 of the regulation, we have decided to impose an official warning as the sanction," he added.

Richardson said the sub-standard pitch was result of poor preparation.

"It would appear that the poor quality of the pitch prepared for this Test was due to inadequate preparation procedures. We have recommended that the BCCI pitch
consultant, Daljit Singh, be requested to investigate and to ensure that in future the manner of preparation is in line with what is required to ensure that a better balance between bat and ball is achieved," Richardson explained