ICC concerned about quality of Test pitches

London: The high-powered ICC Cricket Committee, chaired by former India captain Anil Kumble, yesterday expressed concerns about the “quality of Test pitches”, especially the tendency of home teams to prepare tailor-made strips that suit them.

ICC Cricket Committee chairman Anil Kumble
ICC Cricket Committee chairman Anil Kumble

“The committee also discussed a number of other issues relating to Test cricket, believing a coordinated approach to the marketing of Test cricket was needed, and also expressing concern about the quality of Test pitches, and in particular the common practice of home countries overtly preparing surfaces to suit their own teams,” an ICC release stated.

Interestingly, it was current ICC chairman Shashank Manohar’s home ground in Nagpur that received a lot of flak and got an official warning from the ICC’s Pitches and grounds
Committee after a Test match between India and South Africa finished in two and half days.

Also Ravi Shastri, who is a Media Representative in this Cricket Committee, was India’s ‘Team Director’ during the series.

Both Manohar and Shastri, however, were not present at the meeting as per the release sent by ICC.

Another key member of the committee and former India captain Rahul Dravid had also expressed his concerns last year about quality of pitches prepared in Ranji Trophy to get outright results.
“The committee received a presentation on ICC’s plans to bring greater structure and context to international cricket by creating dedicated competitions in each of the game’s three formats, and there was unanimous agreement from committee members that the current structure of international cricket needed to change.”

There were discussions on how day-night Test cricket could be spread keeping all the checks and balances.

'Need even contests in day-night Tests'
“It stressed, however, that day-night Test cricket needs to be delivered to a consistently high standard across all member countries if the concept is to be successful, noting that the combination of ball, pitch, lighting levels and environmental conditions needed to allow for an even contest between bat and ball at all proposed day-night Test venues,” stated the release.

The ICC Cricket Committee had a long discussion about the future use of technology in international cricket, and particularly umpiring, after receiving a presentation from the MIT engineers on their testing of the current technologies used as part of the Decision Review System (DRS). — PTI

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