ICC sanctions Nagpur pitch

Cricket's governing body agrees with "poor" rating by match referee Jeff Crowe

Nagpur's Jamtha Stadium pitch has been given an official warning by the International Cricket Council following last month's third Test between India and South Africa.

The wicket came under all manner of scrutiny after the Proteas were skittled for 79 and the match was finished inside three days, with ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe rating it 'poor' in his report.

"In reaching the verdict, the ICC agreed with the 'poor' rating given to the pitch by Jeff Crowe, the match referee for the Nagpur Test played from 25-27 November, who observed that the pitch did not allow a fair contest between bat and the ball," an ICC statement read.

"The sanction took into consideration the fact that there had been no concerns about the performance of the pitch after any of the other international matches played at this venue.

"The finding was made by ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and ICC chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, after watching footage of the match, reviewing the post-match reports from Mr Crowe, and considering the response provided by the BCCI."

The ICC's 'Pitch Monitoring Process' rule book suggests that if any of the following criteria apply, a pitch may be rated "poor":

a. The pitch offers excessive seam movement at any stage of the match

b. The pitch displays excessive unevenness of bounce for any bowler at any stage of the match

c. The pitch offers excessive assistance to spin bowlers, especially early in the match

d. The pitch displays little or no seam movement or turn at any stage in the match together with no significant bounce or carry, thereby depriving the bowlers of a fair contest between bat and ball.

Australians Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Hayden were among a host of Twitter users to criticise the pitch during the aforementioned Test match, with India team director Ravi Shastri lashing out in response.

"Let them sit in Australia and talk about their pitches. Tell them not to waste their time about Indian tracks. Come and play here," Shastri told ESPNcricinfo.

"When we go overseas we don't have any choices. Why would you complain?"

Shastri pointed out that 13 wickets fell on day two of the recent day-night Test in Adelaide, while the Ashes were decided this year in a Trent Bridge Test that almost finished on day two.

"Where did you see (it) breaking up into a nice wicket and fifth-day turn (in those games)," he noted. "Which rule tells me that a ball can't turn on day one?

"Where does it tell me in the rulebook it can only swing and seam?

"(Nagpur) was a Test match that was moving all the time. Compare this Test to the Test match in Perth (in which various run-scoring records were set). I would pay money for a ticket for this (Nagpur) game.

"To hell with the five days."