Nagpur’s ‘poor’ pitch receives ‘official warning’ from ICC


The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced that Jamtha Stadium, Nagpur, has been given an official warning under the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process following the third Test between host India and South Africa. India won the match.

“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,” ICC said in a statement.

“In reaching the verdict, the ICC agreed with ‘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,” it said.

“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 had on 1 December announced that it has rated the Nagpur pitch “poor”, and has asked the BCCI to reply within 14 days.

Incidentally, BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who is also ICC chairman, is a former president of the Vidarbha Cricket Association, whose headquarters are in Nagpur. Manohar too is based in Nagpur, but now holds no position in the VCA.

The report has triggered a review of the performance of the pitch under the ICC’s Pitch Monitoring Process, the world body said in a statement.

In accordance with Clause 3 of the Process, ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe submitted his report to the ICC expressing the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch.

This report was forwarded to the BCCI, which was given 14 days to provide its response.

Indian team captain Virat Kohli and Team Director Ravi Shastri have defended the Nagpur pitch. Shastri even said that he wanted Delhi to prepare a similar pitch for the fourth and final Test, played from 3-7 Dec.

India won the four-Test series 3-0.