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Demerit point for Rawalpindi pitch rescinded following PCB's appeal



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|| ICC ||

The demerit point handed to the Rawalpindi pitch after the first match of the ICC World Test Championship series between Pakistan and England has now been rescinded.

The decision was taken following an appeal from the Pakistan Cricket Board. The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium was given a “below average” pitch rating after the first Test of the series in early December.

The Test saw some electrifying batting with England winning by 74 runs. PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had then labelled the pitch as 'embarrassing' and Andy Pycroft of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees agreed with his prognosis.

It was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler," Pycroft said. "That was the main reason why batters scored very fast and both sides posted huge totals. 

"The pitch hardly deteriorated during the course of the match. Since there was very little in it for the bowlers, I found the pitch to be 'below average' as per the ICC guidelines."

However, after reviewing the footage from the Test Match, the ICC appeal panel unanimously felt that the pitch had several "redeeming features" which included the fact that a result was possible and that 37 out of 39 wickets were taken.

As a result, the appeal panel felt that the pitch did not deserve the “below average” rating that was handed earlier.

Earlier, the demerit point accumulated had meant the venue was under threat of being suspended from hosting international cricket if it collected another demerit point. It being rescinded is a shot in the arm for the venue that has hosted 14 international matches across formats since 2019 when cricket returned to the country.