India v South Africa, 3rd Test, Kanpur May 9, 2008

ICC warns Indian board over Kanpur pitch

Cricinfo staff

Virender Sehwag took 3 for 12 in the South African second innings on a pitch which offered plenty of assistance to the spinners © Getty Images
The ICC has given an official warning to the Indian board for the substandard pitch prepared for the third Test between India and South Africa in Kanpur, which India won by eight wickets in three days. It has asked the BCCI to take steps to ensure that pitches for future home Tests are prepared better.

Talking about the decision, Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager, said: "We have come to a decision that the pitch prepared for the match should be rated as 'poor'. We have taken into consideration the explanations offered by the BCCI as to the reasons for the dryness of the pitch and we have noted that there is no previous record of a substandard pitch being prepared in Kanpur.

"However, taking all the evidence into account and, in accordance with clause 4.2 of the regulation, we have decided to impose an official warning as the sanction.

"It would appear that the poor quality of the pitch prepared for this Test was due to inadequate preparation procedures. We have recommended that the BCCI pitch consultant, Daljit Singh, be requested to investigate and 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 BCCI has accepted the warning, and has promised to ensure better pitches in future. "I thank the ICC for its input and decision in relation to this and I can assure everyone that we will take all steps necessary to ensure this does not happen in the future," said Niranjan Shah, the secretary of the BCCI.

The pitch came in for plenty of criticism during and after the Test, as deliveries kicked sharply or kept low. The spinners got it to turn and jump from the first session, while on the third day they were virtually unplayable: Virender Sehwag returning figures of 3 for 12 from 8.5 overs as South Africa were bundled out for 121 in their second innings.

After the match, Roshan Mahanama, the match referee, wrote to the ICC complaining about the quality of the track. "My considered view is that the pitch was poor as it was too dry and had considerable turn and variable bounce from the first day... The pitch was not up to Test match standards."