Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle October 7, 2011

SLC gets official warning for Galle pitch

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka Cricket has been given an official ICC warning for preparing a "poor" pitch in Galle for the first Test against Australia that was played from August 31-September 3. The ICC's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson will inspect the pitch at the end of this month and make recommendations about any corrective action required. SLC, for its part, will need to submit a report confirming the recommended corrective action, if any, has been taken prior to staging its next international match in Galle.

The Galle Test, won by Australia, lasted four days, with the home team being dismissed for 105 and 253 in its 125-run defeat. The match referee for the game Chris Broad had expressed his concern about the pitch to the ICC. Richardson and the ICC's chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, relying on Broad's report, the SLC's response and video footage from the game, then made their decision.

"We have come to a decision that the pitch prepared for the match should be rated as 'poor'," Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager for cricket, said in a statement. "It was clear from the video footage of the match that the amount of turn, especially early in the match, was excessive and there were occasions (even on the first day) where the ball went through the surface of the pitch, bouncing unusually steeply from a good length.

"Whilst it is understandable and acceptable for a pitch to deteriorate over the course of the match, for a pitch to exhibit this type of behavior at relatively early stages of the match was not acceptable. Whilst we do not wish to see a pitch that is too heavily weighted in favour of the batsmen, in this instance, the balance was just too much in favour of the bowler."

Richardson said that since this is the first time the Galle pitch has come up for such scrutiny, the penalty was confined to a warning. "Taking into account that it was the first time that a pitch at Galle has been rated as "poor" and given the intention of the curator to prepare a pitch that provided a fair balance between bat and ball, we have decided to impose a warning as the sanction," he said.

"We have also directed that ICC's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson carry out an inspection of the square with a view to making recommendations to ensure that in future the manner of preparation is in line with what is required to ensure that a better balance between bat and ball is achieved."

The ICC has imposed harsher penalties in the past. The Ferozshah Kotla ground in Delhi was banned from hosting any international matches in 2010 after an India-Sri Lanka ODI in January that year had to be abandoned due to a "dangerous" pitch.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 9, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    what about injury-causing bouncy wickets in SA, AUS & ENG?

  • david on October 8, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    @vibrant patel fast, bouncy and dangerous pitches give us a break! there only dangerous when one team plays on them India.Why because proper technique and ability are needed not slogging which india players use to over come technical weakness,classic case last series in england.

  • Bimal on October 8, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    Where's ICC... when NZ pitches finishes test in 2/3 days...!!

  • Bimal on October 8, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Instead of barking at Subcontinent boards... ICC should look at AUS, ENG & SA pitches & warn respective board about making bouncy turf, which indeed more dangereous to batsmen over the years..!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    wow wow and wow.............. now i consider supporting BCCI hope they can set an example on behalf of the subcontinent teams.As a Sri Lankan i back Indians to prepare a turner in their back yard and teach these cry babies a lesson.Hope they won't protest against the mighty BCCI next year.But seriously this is not the International Cricket Council it's back to the IMPERIAL CRICKET COUNCIL in the past.

  • VIPUL on October 8, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Excess Swing is a sporting pitch a green carpet is always welcome by the ICC. Why than a spinning pitch is not a sporting wicket & is called an unprepared wicket. ICC is bias because the top shots are people who have not been able to play spin so they in a way are taking out their revenge on spin.

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    What utter rubbish! Do you hear them complaining about flat batting tracks that lead to 1500+ runs in a Test? It's about time that bowlers had dustbowls and greentops from time to time. Besides the batsmen are getting technically weaker because of the handouts they've been getting in terms of rules and pitches.

  • Saboor on October 8, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    I wonder where has all the common sense gone from ICC. How can they warn SLC on this issue. I saw the match, the pitch was not that bad that it could lead to injury to players, i think it was a good test pitch and ICC should have appreciated that this pitch produced a result. I really pity bowlers of today, they put so much into each delivery, are more prone to injury than batsmen and now ICC wants all pitches to support batsmen and become bowlers graveyards. Its nothing wrong now for international bowlers to stick to restrict their careers to ODI and T20 cricket. The batsmens' averages are becoming more and more and the bowlers strike rates are taking a beating. Much more senseless cricket on the horizon now after this warning..:(

  • Rizwan on October 8, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Why doesn't cricinfo take a poll, "Do you think ICC is intentionally making cricket too much batsman favored & killing the beauty of bowling in the process?" Its an issue that all fans here would like to give their vote on, unlike all other polls concerning only one country.

  • Samrat on October 8, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    This just proves how outdated the thinking at ICC is? They would rather have 400runs/day draws, but God forbid if you made a turning pitch. And, people who talk about uneven bounce, can they guarantee that uneven swing/seam won't take place in a game. If there was uneven bounce, it was the same for both teams. The team that exploited the conditions best won; in this case Australia. So, the ICC should keep quiet and enjoy the game by letting the game be.

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