The ICC has given the Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur, which hosted the third Test between India and South Africa, an official warning under its pitch monitoring process. The ICC agreed with the ‘poor’ rating that Jeff Crowe, the match referee, had given the pitch in his report.
According to an ICC release, its 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”.
Under the section of the ICC’s pitch monitoring process titled ‘Sanctions for Substandard Pitches and/or Outfields’, the penalty for a pitch earning a ‘poor’ rating for the first time is “a warning and/or a fine not exceeding USD 15,000 given together with a directive for appropriate corrective action”.
Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s general manager – cricket, and Ranjan Madugalle, its chief match referee, made their decision after watching footage of the match, reviewing Crowe’s post-match report, and taking the BCCI’s response into account.
The BCCI’s official response to Crowe’s rating is not known, but board officials have been vocal in support of the pitch, pointing to what they felt were “inconsistencies” in the match referee’s report, and contending that “excessive turn” – one of Crowe’s criticisms of the pitch – was “subjective”.
Thirty three of the 40 wickets that fell during the Test, which lasted just under three days, went to spinners. No batsman from either side made a half-century.