Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Tests

Mirpur pitch rated 'below average' by ICC

The Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium has received one demerit point due to a below-average pitch in the second Test

Cricket Network

15 February 2018, 04:22 PM

For the second time in as many Tests, pitch preparation in Bangladesh has come under the microscope after another ‘below average’ rating from the International Cricket Council.

Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium has received a ‘below average’ rating from the ICC for the pitch used in the second Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh last week.

The Test ended within three days, with 14 wickets falling on both days one and two, before 12 fell on the third and final day as Sri Lanka won by 215 runs.

In total, 681 runs were scored for the loss of 40 wickets.

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.

That match saw 1533 runs scored for the loss of just 24 wickets.

It’s led the ICC to hand both venues one demerit point, which will remain active for a rolling five-year period.

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If during this time the venue reaches the threshold of five demerit points, it will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 12 months.

“From day one, there was evidence of the ball breaking the pitch surface,” ICC match referee Andy Pycroft said of the pitch in Dhaka.

“(It) 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.”

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.