English cricket authorities faced the prospect of a $15,000 fine after the docile Trent Bridge pitch on which England and India played out a draw in last week’s first Test was rated as ‘poor’ by match referee David Boon.
Former Australia batsman Boon’s verdict, announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday, is the first time a Test pitch in England has been labelled as ‘poor’ by a match referee.
Boon oversaw proceedings at Trent Bridge where, almost from the start of the match, there were complaints about an unusually dry and lifeless surface which denied the faster bowlers their due reward.
Indeed so severe was the criticism, that groundsman Steve Birks took the unusual step of issuing a public apology.
The ICC said Boon had submitted a report to the global governing body expressing his concerns over the quality of the pitch.
This report has been forwarded to the England and Wales Cricket Board, which now has 14 days to respond.
The first time a pitch is rated as ‘poor’ by the ICC, a warning and or fine not exceeding $15,000 can be imposed, together with a directive for ‘appropriate corrective action’.
However, such a judgement would not see a ground stripped of its right to stage international matches.
During the first Test, India made 457 and 391-9 declared, while England complied 596 in its lone innings.
Both teams saw their last-wicket pairs in Nottingham involved in century stands with England’s Joe Root and James Anderson putting on a Test record 10th-wicket partnership of 198.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.
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