Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle September 5, 2011

Galle dustbowl rated 'poor' by ICC

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Sri Lankan cricket authorities face formal sanction for Galle's dustbowl first Test pitch after it was officially rated "poor" by the ICC match referee Chris Broad. SLC must provide a written response to his report within 14 days.

A hefty fine and "a directive for corrective action" will be the result if the ICC does not deem their explanation sufficient. The pitch was the cause of much conjecture in the lead-up to the match, but by its conclusion both sides agreed it had been far too dry and offered exceedingly rare extremes of spin and variable bounce.

"The ICC's General Manager - Cricket, Dave Richardson, and the ICC's chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle will now consider all the evidence," the ICC said in a statement, "including studying video footage of the match and submissions from the host Member Board, before reaching their decision in due course."

Ricky Ponting equated the Galle pitch to the infamous Mumbai surface of 2004 while Michael Clarke said "day one felt like day five" after Australia wrapped up a 125-run victory in the first Test.

The Australians' pride in victory was made more so by the state of the surface, which can be described as a desert in the middle of an oasis. Galle is lashed by frequent rain and the outfield is verdant green, but the pitch prepared for the Test, ostensibly to aid Sri Lanka's spin bowlers, was tinder dry. Even Tillkaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka's captain, expressed surprise at the pitch.

When gusts of wind swept across the ground on day four, some officials wondered whether they might take the whole of the pitch with them.

Having celebrated his 100th win in Test matches, becoming the first man to achieve the feat, Ponting said he had only seen one other pitch of similar quality in his career. That match, the fourth Test between India and Australia at Wankhede Stadium in 2004, was completed in little more than two days after the first was all but lost to rain.

"Yeah [I can remember] one, we had one in Mumbai on which we had to chase 100 in the fourth innings and it was about halfway through the second day and we couldn't get them," Ponting said. "I think we all knew when we saw the wicket two days out from the start of this game we knew it was going to be like this.

"It was very loose two days out and we couldn't see how it was going to get any better. So it was a great toss to win and a good first innings total for us and that set the game up."

Clarke, who made an important 60 in the second innings to ensure the fourth innings target would be out of Sri Lanka's reach, was similarly wide-eyed about the surface, and conceded the toss had gone a long way towards deciding the match.

"If you speak to all the batters that's definitely one of the toughest wickets I've had to bat on in a Test match and that was on day one," Clarke said. "Day one felt like day five of a Test match, so to scratch out 270-odd were crucial runs, we thought that was a pretty good score.

"It's really hard, I hate to see a Test match result determined by the toss, I hate to see any game of cricket determined by the toss, but that was one of the toughest wickets I've played Test cricket on. No doubt it was prepared for spin bowling, but I think it might've backfired as well."

Dilshan had commented on match eve that the pitch would start to turn after tea on the first day, but it was doing plenty from the first morning, when Rangana Herath's first ball jumped and turned to kiss the edge of Shane Watson's bat. If anything the pitch's venom dissipated a little on days three and four, allowing Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews add 142 to delay Australia's win.

"This is a challenging wicket," Dilshan said. "We know when you come to Galle this is a slow wicket, this is a very challenging wicket for Test cricket, but we've managed to get the highest fourth innings runs today. It is challenging, not easy.

"Normally the Galle track is very dry. We expect a turning and slow wicket in Galle but the thing is this started turning first day, so it was a little bit drier but we expect Galle to be similar to this as we've played previous."

Clarke praised the efforts of Michael Hussey, who was named Man of the Match for his 95 in the first innings, when the rest of the batsmen were struggling.

"His 95 is worth at least 150 on that wicket, and put us in a great position to win the Test, so I'm thrilled," Clarke said. "We executed our plans really well. As a batting group we would've liked someone to go on and make a hundred, especially in the first innings we found that all of us got a start.

"If Huss had a couple of partners I'm sure he would've got a hundred, but that's one thing as a batting unit we can work on. Our bowling unit did a really good job as a group, hitting good areas, we knew on that wicket we were going to get a little bit of inconsistent bounce so we had to be at the stumps as much as we could, and our fielding was fantastic, our energy in the field was the standard we want to see."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 6, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Thats true. this has some thing wrong in it

  • RoarofTiger on September 6, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    Yeah because of the pitch, 4 batsmen got badly injured, the match got over in 4 days because ballers took 20 wickets and the batsmen could not last 5 days to make it interesting DRAW match. We should ban all the pitches that test batsmen skills and produce results.....oh sorry to mention all the asian pitches...We need DRAWS with both team scoring 1000 runs each and not result oriented matches....well done ICC

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on September 6, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Speaking of using conditions ..... did anyone else hear Dominic Cork commentating on the Sussex v Surrey 40 over match bemoaning the quality of balls used in county cricket and state that England have commandeered all 2009 produced Duke balls for a private supply as it is believed the newer ones dont swing as much? Does that mean these balls are kept just for England to bowl with in Tests or what? Seems a strange story but the attention to detail rings true. Anyone? I note that England have not lost at home in this period and their swing bowlers have been outstanding.

  • Sinhabahu on September 6, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    There is a saying in Sinhala that goes, "Be careful not to fall into the pit you've dug to trap someone else." This is exactly what happened to the Sri Lankan team in Galle.

  • stormy16 on September 6, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    I dont have a problem with the ICC's decision so long as next time NZ produce a seaming wicket or SA produce a green top and the game is done in 3 days the same treatment applies. Also when SL go to the SCC and both sides make 500+ in a tame draw the same should apply. I agree the pitch was not the best but it produced a decent contest and all the bowlers got something out of it. The fact that Lyon got one wicket in the 4 innings shows that it wasnt a spinners paradise while Watson got swing and Harris got seam movement. The only century came in the 4th innings. Yes it wasnt the best pitch but surely worse pitches have produced worse results and no one has said a thing.

  • Haleos on September 6, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    @landl47 - swann will be hit to all corners. Other then that one test he was mostly uselss. Dont be so overconfident. Asian batsman still are better players of spin. Poms will be dancing around when they visit Asia next.

  • Haleos on September 6, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Non-asian countries will always be cry baby when they have to play on spinning tracks. What are they moaning about after winning? Aussies should be proud that they played on such a track and won. I believe sub continent countries should always dish out such wickets. Its their home turf and they should have wickets which suit them. As Mr Andrew Struass puts it, its home advantage.

  • Prinzzzz on September 6, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    if dusty pitch is unfair n poor , so is grass tops.... y cant icc take action against eng 4 preparing grass tops against india n lanka dis season?? a good team must find a way to win in both surface .. HOPE INDIA PREPARE WORST PITCHES THAN DIS 4 ENGLANDS VISIT... n play 3 specialist spinner.

  • onphel1 on September 6, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    C'MON PEOPLE. IT'S INTERNATIONAL CRICKET. SLOW PITCH, FAST PITCH, TURNING PITCH, BOUNCING PITCH, COVERED PITCH, UNCOVERED PITCH. BOTH THE TEAM HAS TO PLAY ON THE SAME PITCH. ONE WILL EMERGE WINNER, AND THE OTHER LOOSER. PART AND PARCEL OF THE BEAUTY OF TEST CRICKET. STOP WHINGING AND GET ON WITH IT!!!

  • Zafar_Abbas on September 6, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    I mean WTH... It's ok to ask for DRS technology but PITCH... this was never a dangerous pitch for batsman so, why o why ICC?? I don't have words for ICC's nonsense... Barring Sangakkara, all my favorite players in both teams scored.. This pitch had only one fault; it tested the quality of batsman.. Had this been the only parameter for judgment then South Africa should have been banned for all sorts of cricket till now.. Tests played there give a result mostly in 3 or 4 days due the presence of green meadows (for all the desert mourners)..

  • on September 6, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Thats true. this has some thing wrong in it

  • RoarofTiger on September 6, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    Yeah because of the pitch, 4 batsmen got badly injured, the match got over in 4 days because ballers took 20 wickets and the batsmen could not last 5 days to make it interesting DRAW match. We should ban all the pitches that test batsmen skills and produce results.....oh sorry to mention all the asian pitches...We need DRAWS with both team scoring 1000 runs each and not result oriented matches....well done ICC

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on September 6, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Speaking of using conditions ..... did anyone else hear Dominic Cork commentating on the Sussex v Surrey 40 over match bemoaning the quality of balls used in county cricket and state that England have commandeered all 2009 produced Duke balls for a private supply as it is believed the newer ones dont swing as much? Does that mean these balls are kept just for England to bowl with in Tests or what? Seems a strange story but the attention to detail rings true. Anyone? I note that England have not lost at home in this period and their swing bowlers have been outstanding.

  • Sinhabahu on September 6, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    There is a saying in Sinhala that goes, "Be careful not to fall into the pit you've dug to trap someone else." This is exactly what happened to the Sri Lankan team in Galle.

  • stormy16 on September 6, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    I dont have a problem with the ICC's decision so long as next time NZ produce a seaming wicket or SA produce a green top and the game is done in 3 days the same treatment applies. Also when SL go to the SCC and both sides make 500+ in a tame draw the same should apply. I agree the pitch was not the best but it produced a decent contest and all the bowlers got something out of it. The fact that Lyon got one wicket in the 4 innings shows that it wasnt a spinners paradise while Watson got swing and Harris got seam movement. The only century came in the 4th innings. Yes it wasnt the best pitch but surely worse pitches have produced worse results and no one has said a thing.

  • Haleos on September 6, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    @landl47 - swann will be hit to all corners. Other then that one test he was mostly uselss. Dont be so overconfident. Asian batsman still are better players of spin. Poms will be dancing around when they visit Asia next.

  • Haleos on September 6, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Non-asian countries will always be cry baby when they have to play on spinning tracks. What are they moaning about after winning? Aussies should be proud that they played on such a track and won. I believe sub continent countries should always dish out such wickets. Its their home turf and they should have wickets which suit them. As Mr Andrew Struass puts it, its home advantage.

  • Prinzzzz on September 6, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    if dusty pitch is unfair n poor , so is grass tops.... y cant icc take action against eng 4 preparing grass tops against india n lanka dis season?? a good team must find a way to win in both surface .. HOPE INDIA PREPARE WORST PITCHES THAN DIS 4 ENGLANDS VISIT... n play 3 specialist spinner.

  • onphel1 on September 6, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    C'MON PEOPLE. IT'S INTERNATIONAL CRICKET. SLOW PITCH, FAST PITCH, TURNING PITCH, BOUNCING PITCH, COVERED PITCH, UNCOVERED PITCH. BOTH THE TEAM HAS TO PLAY ON THE SAME PITCH. ONE WILL EMERGE WINNER, AND THE OTHER LOOSER. PART AND PARCEL OF THE BEAUTY OF TEST CRICKET. STOP WHINGING AND GET ON WITH IT!!!

  • Zafar_Abbas on September 6, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    I mean WTH... It's ok to ask for DRS technology but PITCH... this was never a dangerous pitch for batsman so, why o why ICC?? I don't have words for ICC's nonsense... Barring Sangakkara, all my favorite players in both teams scored.. This pitch had only one fault; it tested the quality of batsman.. Had this been the only parameter for judgment then South Africa should have been banned for all sorts of cricket till now.. Tests played there give a result mostly in 3 or 4 days due the presence of green meadows (for all the desert mourners)..

  • popped on September 6, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    strange the so called dust bowl & terrible pitch produced a superb result !! some stellar performances, unsurprisingly chris broad as usual has got his wires crossed , this so-called "dust bowl" produced 20 wickets in all for the seamers, for a so-called made for spinners pitch?? what are the reasons behind that? ok not the grates pitch but any wickets that produces a super result is a good pitch in my book ,it certainly wasnt a dangerous pitch !!tested the batters skills, and the captains & players grit and oz came on top, maybe bnroad should face sanctions

  • bumsonseats on September 6, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    england get swing and seam because in rains alot in the uk. so if u win the toss its always going to be a test. if u get thru to lunch, is much easier to bat. most asian guys do not understand the term greentop, its were u cannot see the pitch from the outfield u do not get greentops in england. as its not in the interest to the host ground. at £3.00 a pint they want 5 days. sky tv want 5 days of cricket. SL get maybe more rain than UK so water equals grass. give it a try u may like ir. dpk

  • Harvey on September 6, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    @davidpk - I agree totally in instances where the toss effectively decides the result, that makes it a poor pitch. However that certainly wasn't the case in this instance. Australia won the toss and batted, yet both the highest and joint second highest scores by individual batsmen were made by Sri Lankans in the fourth innings of the match!

  • Blokker on September 6, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Good decision by the ICC. What next, have the batsmen play on uncovered pitches ike in the old days, is that what you want? A good pitch will provide an enthralling contest between bat and ball, not one or the other. This pitch sucked bit time.

  • ats78 on September 6, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    I am so happy to read comments on people getting frustrated about how the BCCI and the Indian cricket team are always been criticized . Well ICC are not licking boots of any nation but they are favoring only 2 nations as of now and in the past and that is Aus and Eng. Indians always oppose the ICC whether it is the DRS or whether is unfair umpiring or even arguing with the officials and getting punished but somehow they become the scape goats. When Australians feel that pitch is bad they complain and everyone listens (what happened in mumbai is that they lost and which they hate to do especially against India) but the point of the matter is everyone should have their eyes open and see that who the ICC works for...just for the record if a wicket keeper is talented and has one the world cup as a captain and if he can bowl than why not do so, can any other wicket keeper even keep properly forget captaining

  • CKfrombrisbane on September 6, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    If anything wrong with the pitch how Angelo and Mahela scored really well at the end? Can ICC explain please?

  • on September 6, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Do we ever see a green-top with a lot of moisture being reported? If anyone has seen that happen, please let me know!!

  • chappelis_last_blast on September 6, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    As long as the pitch doesnt become super dangerous, i think that decision is wrong. oh well! they still played 4 days! rain helped but

  • nzcricket174 on September 6, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    India 538/6 dec. vs 600/4 dec. that's what I see as a perfect pitch, a pitch we saw last year where we saw one of the most boring matches.

  • bumsonseats on September 6, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    all has an opinion on this topic. what everyone should agree with is. winning the toss, should not mean winning the match, if you think that then im affraid cricket should not be your sport, cricket to me is the only team game were the old adage is play fair play hard. dpk

  • Sarangarajan on September 6, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    To call Galle pitch as sub- standard is a joke.What it didnot provide? It provided Wickets , nearly three centuries,good bowling and good finish. Just the Aussies were uncortable in the first innings and hence ICC takes a clue to call it substandard. Aussies and Pommies whenever they come to subcontinent , they squeal about the pitches.What did England provide to India recently in England- Green top pitches. Did India squeal? Come on ICC. Test matches are designed to "test" the skills of batsmanship.Unfortunately, the batting has gone down in skill levels eversince the limited over cricket and T20s have come up. DFont blame the pitch if you cannot survive one day of test cricket in batting.Iit applies to both the teams. Some crazy decision.

  • bumsonseats on September 6, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    captmeanster i think this is the only thing iv agreed with you ever. guys keep on saying this wicket is good because it got a result. i watch alot of cricket and i dont like seeing england score 600 and the other team 500 and it dies a death on the evening of the 4th day.we do not want wickets that get results thru skullduggery. grass is good i want the asian teams to repeat this, grass is good. get my drift. dpk

  • on September 6, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Strangely Sri Lanka always face defeat in Galle. Why do they prepare such a pitch is something surprising to me. Usually home teams prepare a pitch for their advantage rather than opposition. Sri Lanka always had bad record at Galle. ICC asking explanation to Srilankan board is looking strange as well. Chris Broad is unknown as controversial match referee. Out of this pitch a result was possible, instead of flat pitches which we usually see in Colombo. Most of the matches there will be drawn and it is nightmare for bowlers on the Colombo pitch.

  • WPDDESILVA on September 6, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Yeah Yeah Dilshan....blame the pitch now !!

  • on September 6, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    So when england visit SL later we'll have us getting 800-5 declared against SLs 750 all out. and that pitch will be 'good'

    WHAT A JOKE

  • likeintcricket on September 6, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Do we have a consensus on the definition of "poor" wicket or "dangerous" wicket. A wicket where a 200+ score is achieved 3 times and a side was out at 105 only because of its poor batting ( Loosing wickets to two debutant who could not take wickets in the 4th inning) cannot be called a poor track in my dictionary. In fact there are wickets in Australia, England and South Africa where the pitches are much more unplayable and dangerous for south Asian players as they are not adapted to it. On so many occasions, even crossing a 100 by a team from Asia on "Perth" is an achievement by itself.Ask the players what it feels playing Lille-Thomson or Lee-Gallispie at Perth when they visit first time in Australia. I don't think Australia could have crossed 150 at Galle on any inning if "Mendis or Murali) is playing in the match.

  • hyclass on September 6, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Of the 19 Tests played so far in 2011,13 have yielded results.Thats a result ratio of 68%.Of those series, only the India v SA series and Pakistan v WI series were drawn, with 1-1 results from 2 and 3 tests respectively. With the busy international schedule and the move to only 1, warm up match, it is imperative that the ICC monitors the the quality of First Test pitch in each series, or touring teams can be seriously disadvantaged. Their action on the Galle pitch is evidence that they are taking this role seriously. International matches exist, so that teams may test their ethics,systems teamwork and styles against a variety of conditions. That variety,does not and should not,legally or morally extend to altering the condition of the wicket. It isnt legal to alter the state of the ball, which may have far less impact on results than this wicket did. As Bradman said,"Play the game for the games sake".

  • johnathonjosephs on September 6, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Sad but true: Money Talks and in today's world ---> Money = TV Viewers. You finish a match in 3 days and 2 sessions and thats called a huge loss in money since 1 day and a session are lost. This match could have easily been finished in 3 days which is a 40% loss in net worth. Thus, a warning must be sent out so other curators don't do the same thing. Pretty sad, I actually enjoyed the match, which I thought was a very good contest

  • on September 6, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    This is absolutely outrageous , all ICC wants are wickets where u get small amount of turn, predictable wickets which each team easily scores 400 each and the match is either drawn or the same predictable finish on the fifth day... This was a superb wicket, sure it spun, but when you get a English wicket where it swings and seams then no one complains? that its moving too much... Its always exciting to see the ball turn , if international cricketers can not play that much turn then i dont think they should be playing . Cause in school cricket the ball turns more then that from the first ball and school cricketers can play it just fine. And it wasnt as if each team got out under 100 runs.. Fair amount of runs were scored in the whole test.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 6, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    The Aussies wouldn't have won otherwise. How else could Aus beat a team three places or so above them in the rankings!!! Ha!

  • Valerio_DiBattista on September 6, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Are the ICC under instructions from commercial interests to ensure that the game goes 5 days?

  • hyclass on September 6, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    This pitch was dangerous and sub-standard. The ICC says so. The players say so. The match referee says so. Some here are claiming that it is only helping to create results. Arent there enough result pitches already? India just lost to England 4 nil. Australia were thrashed by England, 3-1 earlier this year. India drew 1-1 in SA. Australia lost 2-0 to India. Pakistan drew 1-1 v WI. Pakistan beat Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh in one off tests. Draws are a part of Test cricket.Lets not dumb it down for the sake of impatient people,or those with agendas. If we were to listen to those using this pitch to justify creating results,then there would soon be laws against draws altogether. Isnt it enough that there are ODI and 20/20 with instant results?

  • Marcio on September 6, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Sorry, SL dudes, but Broad is right. Swallow your pride. Don't shoot the messenger. It was obvious from day 1 that this track was below standard. Saying that all sides prepare favourable pitches is not good enough. All fast bowlers rub the ball on arms splattered with sunscreen, but that doesn't mean that you can front up to bowl after you have just dunked yourself into a trough of lard. It's all a matter of degrees. This pitch crossed way over the line.

  • Meety on September 6, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    @landl47 - sound theory re"...Had Sri Lanka won the toss, I believe they would have won..." - This is generally true on a pitch that gets worse the longer the match goes on. I can't really argue as it didn't actually happen, but Sri Lanka lost because they batted poorly in most of their 2 innings - particularly their 1st. I only want to point out that by the end of the 3rd day the pitch had pretty much died & was actually not too bad to bat on. This being the case a better performance by SL batting first may of meant that Oz would of batted for longer on a totally dead track & only would of had problems facing the new ball - something Oz are better at than SL is generally. Total supposition though.

  • Geeva on September 6, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    It was a Test pitch!Sri Lanka didnt apply themselves in the 1st innings!If 1 batsmen got a 100 and 2got 90's the pitch cudnt have been that unplayable.The ICC should ban flat wickets,this match was entertaining nothing wrong with the wicket!!!

  • jfgvjksnkka on September 6, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    What more could you want from a test, reverse swing, great spin bowling from both teams, quality batsmen from each team shining. Keep them coming SL cant wait for the next test!

  • on September 6, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    @mensan: I fully agree with you. All the exemptions and rules favour batsmen ane the bowlers are who toil to get the wickets. Many matches on flat pitches where very few wickets taken were overlooked.. If you argure that because of making a dry pitch, SL deserved to lose by a huge margin, and that's it.

  • Gupta.Ankur on September 6, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    I really don't understand the need for BCCI bashing here......Is BCCI so strong that no discussion in cricket can go without mentioning them?

    Meanwhile, yes the pitch was sub-standard and SL forgot that murali no longer plays for them and their batsmen can only score on flat pitches....

  • sachin_vvsfan on September 6, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Just curious to know how many green tops outside subcontinent were rated poor by the ICC :) @popcorn This series is about SL and AUS . you want to punish BCCI now?. Dont want to sound arrogant but gotta say this. Its not the ICC that is licking BCCI boots but CA.

  • hyclass on September 6, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    If Australia had lost, commenting on the pitch condition would have been called poor sportsmanship. It was imperative that they won in order that this could resolved in an objective fashion. They were good enough, or lucky enough, or both,on this occassion to do so. This article, the match referee,the ICC and the captains and players were of the opinion that it was far too dry,didnt represent the conditions in S/L,had dangerous degrees of unpredictable bounce and was poorly prepared. Whether people want results pitches, whatever those might be,is irrelevent. What is relevent, is that the curator in the preparation of this pitch, failed in his duty of care,to honour the conditions in prepapring a fair five day wicket, which he is bound to do.That breaches the laws and spirit of cricket.They are not,nor should they ever be,negotiable.

  • mensan on September 6, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    I don't agree with ICC match referee. This was a very good pitch for test cricket. What ICC wants? flat pitches with no help for bowlers.

  • Dashgar on September 6, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    @Spirit within, India smashed Australia did they? Go back and look at the first test of that series. India won by 1 wicket thanks to a big partnership between Sharma and Laxman, while Bollinger was injured and unable to bowl. It wasn't a thrashing at all, in fact India were very lucky to win the series. Australia aren't nearly as bad as people say in the subcontinent and they proved it again on a Galle track that spun square and bounced unevenly from session 1.

  • Sach.S on September 6, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    This just goes on to show how ridiculous and clueless the ICC these days are. If anything this kind of pitches along with green tops should be promoted, not banned. This was a pitch that offered something for everything; good spin, enough bounce if you are willing to bend your back and some runs for the batsmen if they were ready to battle it out. There was no cheap runs though. Ridiculous decision.

  • on September 6, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Somebody tell me the laid down rules if any.What makes it a substandard pitch? What are the specifications for dust, grass, moisture? Or is a pitch poor if less skilled batsmen find it difficult? This pitch showed up the bad batsmen from the good, produced a result and produced an interesting discussion.The preparers should be punished only if it is doctored/tampered with after the toss/start of match. By the way, anyone remember Laker's Old Trafford track?

  • landl47 on September 6, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    A good pitch should certainly give both bowlers and batsmen a fair chance. However, it shouldn't give an undue advantage to the side winning the toss, as this pitch did. Had Sri Lanka won the toss, I believe they would have won. As for the pitch not being dangerous- in the second innings Sanga got a ball from Watson, by no means an express bowler, that jumped from a length and would have hit him in the face had it not hit his bat and given an easy catch to slip. Isn't that dangerous? It's one thing for a fast bowler to bowl short and get lift. It's another for a ball of good length to rear straight up at the batsman's face. Had that been Harris or Johnson, Sanga might have been badly hurt.

  • 512fm on September 6, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    absolute joke once again ICC, this was one of the most exciting test matches in a very long time. How about banning the pitches where we get 600 v 600??

  • on September 6, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    Somewhere between the 650/4 pitches declared first two innings and what was dished up in this game would make for a perfect balanced test wicket.

  • on September 6, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    What a joke. A truely testing pitch finally, which made players grind for runs, and the ICC fine them.

  • popcorn on September 6, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Disgusting, isn't it, that ICC should single out Sri Lanka for the poor pitch while ignoring the WORST pitch in Test History, created by the so - called Indian great Test Cricketer, Polly Umrigar, in the 2004 Dust Bowl Test in Mumbai between Australia and India,that got over in 3 days? Sickening that ICC licks the boots of BCCI.

  • Reggaecricket on September 6, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    We all know what drives Chris Broad to make statements! Has he ever done anything but use his influence to allow his son to throw tantrums and get away with it? I'd rather see a Galle wicket where two batsmen scored 90's and one a hundred, rather than one on which batsmen score double and triple hundreds and the wicket keeper also decides to have a bowl!

  • on September 6, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    I thought a bad pitch means a pitch that is dangerous to play. This pitch tested the quality, application, and the patience of the batsmen and bowlers. Excellent examples are fast bowlers and spinners could take wickets. Almost three centuries scored. Mahela and Mathews showed that the pitch was not dangerous to bat even on 4th day. What if Sri Lankan batsmen could score about 200 runs in the first inning. This match could have been one of the best test matches! It was their poor shot selection + Mahela's run out paved the way to the downfall in the first inning. Looks like Ausies are worried about next two pitches becoming spin friendly too.

  • D.V.C. on September 6, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    I'd rather see sanctions applied when pitches are prepared where batting is easy. This was a good wicket to test the batsmen, and I'd like to see more of them. As was noted by the SL team, it got easier to bat toward the end of the game. How the pitch played on the first morning shouldn't be as important as how it played throughout the whole game on average.

  • landonius on September 6, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    a result pitch is 'not' a good pitch if the game is effectively over after the second day, as was the case in Galle.

  • Buggsy on September 6, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    This is a joke. There was nothing wrong with the pitch; as others have said, it produced a result and wasn't dangerous in the least. So what if it was falling apart on day one - batsman have had it too good for too long, it's about time the bowlers had their share of the fun. I enjoyed this match, infinitely more so than a 2000 run bore-fest.

  • me54321 on September 6, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    It was a poorly prepared pitch. I particularly dislike excessive uneven bounce myself. But it was still a lot better than some pointless flat track, where you know it's going to be a draw from half way through day 3. Hopefully this rating of pitches will be something they're going to do with every pitch, whether it be too hard to bowl on, or too hard to bat on.

  • KapilJoshi on September 6, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    Why is it that swinging conditions are called beautiful swinging conditions whereas spinning tracks are called dirty dust bowls... ??? In fact both are just 2 different conditions making life miserable for the batsmen!

  • Greenmachine2009 on September 6, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    so we are fining people for delivering a wicket that provided a good contest between bat and ball and there was a result ... doesnt make much sense to be fair.

  • Meety on September 6, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    @Humdingers - the match went halfway thru the 4th day, & there was only 1 century - a couple of 90s. I get your point though. @sAiyAnstAr - well said mate. I'd prefer a pitch to start in better shape though, & then deteriorate. Match was closer than what people think. @RJHB - my main gripe about the pitch was that as it had completely died by Day 3, Sri Lanka IMO, had the advantage of bating last!!!!! To me a pitch should deteriorate as the match goes on - not be in a coma & die by day 3. The pitch was so dead that by Day 4, unless the new ball took a wicket (thankfully for Ozzy fans it did), SL should of/could of run down that score! @saket W. - mate, the issue is really about the fact that the pitch was devoid of life from Day 1. Its not an issue that pitch should of favoured spin, thats expected in the sub-continent. I am in favour of variety, your comments about Ozzy pitches though are clearly ill-informed though.

  • on September 6, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    Chris Broad and ICC must ask a question themselves, how would they define the word 'poor'? Do they think if the wicket produces +500 runs an inning a 'good' wicket? The way I see, if the wicket is not dangerous and has produced a result then it's a GOOD wicket. If the wicket is favouring bowlers, then it is for batsmen to take it as a challenge. We are talking about Test Cricket and we expect world's best players playing test Cricket.

  • SRT_GENIUS on September 6, 2011, 1:46 GMT

    Fully agree with Saket Waghmode.

  • on September 6, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    It was a result pitch!!enough said

  • on September 6, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    What the hell! As long as both teams had the same surface to play on, how does it matter? I cannot believe ICC is going to fine them! This is ridiculous.

  • landonius on September 6, 2011, 0:36 GMT

    The pitch was rubbish. SL didn't get close to a win despite some comments. The strategy to 'spin out' the opponent failed/backfire in their faces. At least now the ICC is taking an interest. These pitches which turn on day 1 are a joke and should be banned. Even Clarke admitted the match was won on the toss. There are ways to measure moisture in wickets, there should be some sort of benchmark for this and have the hosts fined if they don't comply.

  • sam_laker on September 6, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    Can't agree more with @Michael Aubrey. International Cricket is all about adapting to different and difficult conditions. Haven't seen many complaining about the Perth minefield. I remember once Ambrose got his bat stuck in a crack and got runout!

  • getaclue on September 6, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    well said @harvey. Spot on. Lets see the batsmen struggle once in a while. Make test hundreds sacred, not run of the mill.

  • AvidFanDownUnder on September 6, 2011, 0:05 GMT

    I hope the ICC takes a balanced view on the pitches - while this pitch was probably too dusty and weighed too far to the bowlers it would be an absolute insult if pitches greentops that basically makes the bowlers participants isn't good for the game - obviously this is too far in the other direction but I hope for the sake of cricket that the ICC expects more pitches to help bowlers as well as batsmen (in this situation the skills of the individual players will then determine the direction of the game).

  • Meety on September 5, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    @smudgeon - I agree that the match was better than other matches played where the pitch is like a road. I am just very dubious as to how the pitch was falling apart on Day 1. IMO, a good "dry pitch" would hold together for at least 2 days before falling apart. Glad we won otherwise it would like sour grapes. == == == @davidpk - don't often agree with you but I do agree that Asian countries need to have a look at how Pakistan prepare pitches. Somehow they can produce quality pace bowlers, yes it slightly dimishes home advantage, but it means they are ALWAYS a chance of winning abroad. == == == @Mark00 - I think you're wrong, because the pitch was inconsistant over 3 days, but gradually died at the end of Day 3 & on Day 4. Matthews & Mahela showed life was easier than earlier in the match. If they'd survived the 2nd new ball, they could of come VERY close to winning. The pitch was the reverse of what I like pitches to be, (just my opinion).

  • on September 5, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    I agree the pitch was rather unusual. But is the same yardstick applied when sub-continental teams have to contend with steep bounce and swing outside the sub-continent? No, because they are expected to COPE. So what should a team do when hosting a non-subcontinental team? Ask them if the pitches are to their liking? Don't tell me that all pitches in non-subcontinental countries were absolutely perfect. Yet, Broad and Ponting will NEVER say a word in those situations. I remember Australia didn't complain when they won on a Nagpur greentop in 2004. They didn't complain when they themselves spun WI to defeat in Sydney in 1985 and on a dubious pitch in Melbourne in 1981. Suddenly, it's an outrage when some other team does it too?

  • CricketFan2011WC on September 5, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    It is disappointing to see all the batters blaming on the pitch when it had assisted bowlers. Both teams had wicket taking spin bowlers and they took wickets. So arn't Dilshan and our "top" class batters should be able to handle good bowling, or are they asking batting friendly pitches to shine themselves. This applies to Ponting as well (not a big fan of him), during world cup he was referring to Premadasa-wicket as "rolled mud". Of course earth's crust is made out of weathered rocks. These people are putting blame on somewhere else to not to show their inability. Clarke and Hussy batted well, and Watto bowled beautifully in a so called "spin" friendly wicket. In any case Aus-won when both teams were given the same pitch. So are these people asking for pitches that they only can bat? If you are a cricketer you should be able to handle any pitch and blame themselves for their inability and improve themselves rather putting blame on the pitch.

  • RJHB on September 5, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    A lot of comments here about how the Galle pitch was so much better than a road that produces high scores and in a way I agree, a result is far better to see than a boring draw. But why does it have to be one extreme or the other?? A test is over five days, is a contest between bat and ball and should allow skilled players to show their talent. Why allow the pitch and toss to have such a massive say in how the match is played and decided?? If SL can't produce sporting pitches that are fair and showcase the great players, rather than make the mediocre players look like superstars, maybe they shouldn't bother with test cricket and just stick to the shorter forms that don't mean anything!

  • sAiyAnstAr on September 5, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    The pitch produced a result. Something Test cricket has been needing for some years now. The visiting country won on a turning wicket with pace bowlers and some good batting. Maybe the ICC should be heaping praise on the Galle ground staff? I am a Sri Lankan supporter and am very disappointed that we lost, but it was a good test match regardless. Mahela and Angelo almost snatched victory out of the Aussie's hands considering the circumstances. If only Mahela lasted one more session. If only Angelo didn't get that rush of blood. If only... Credit goes to Australia for a good win.

  • Humdingers on September 5, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    The match went into the 5th day... a couple of centuries... a couple of 5-fers...exciting cricket all round with a RESULT!!! What is wrong with that? As opposed to the green, swinging, grass covered pitches in Eng or SA? This is what Test Cricket is all about - adaptation in different conditions! Or wait...maybe the ICC should just say all cricket is to be played in Eng! Chris Broad has to go - look at his tenure and all the controversies he is involved in!

  • on September 5, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    This is crazy, the pitch produced what I thought was a great test match. I bet if the pitch had of produced a couple of 6/500d scores it wouldn't get rated poor, but in reality that makes for far worse cricket.

  • samincolumbia on September 5, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    I believe BCCI is to be blamed for this too...lol. Poor SL fans...first the thrashing by India in the WC final, then Australia thrashes them in this dustbowl and not to be left behind, ICC joins in on the fun.

  • ygkd on September 5, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    At least there was a result and that it was fair (SL not batting well enough in the first innings unfortunately - I usually like the way they bat). Poor pitches are falt-track draws.

  • on September 5, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    What about the poor 700 wickets in India? This is a joke.

  • Harvey on September 5, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Once again a pitch that produced lively and interesting cricket attracts sanctions, while the flat, dead pitches that are killing the game seem to be actively encouraged. I can understand sanctions when the pitch offers an unfair advantage to the team batting first, but the fact that the highest (and joint second highest) individual score by a batsman was made in the 4th innings of the match proves that wasn't the case here. What's so terrible about having pitches that aren't batting paradises every so often?

  • inthebag on September 5, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    What is disgraceful is the practice of preparing pitches to suit the home side. It's epidemic to the point that it's actually acceptable on the sub continent - and England (The Oval 2009). And Broad is the one to complain about it!!!!! If they are serious about stopping this then good on them but I suspect that it'll only apply on the sub continent, perhaps the Caribbean.

  • sifter132 on September 5, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    Perhaps it wasn't ideal, but it certainly wasn't a 'poor' pitch. I like Dilshan's description: challenging. The match went to the 4th day, and there was nothing dangerous about the pitch. I don't see the big problem. It was just a bit different to what the usual is.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 5, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    As far as I am aware, test cricket should have a sporting pitch irrespective of the conditions. This means the track should have an even covering of grass to assist both teams on the first day. If there is grass, then the batsmen can be assured of true bounce and after the first 45 minutes, batting becomes fairly easy. The bowlers too will have ample opportunities to get wickets. On the second and third days, the pitch will be at it's best for batting. The 4th and 5th days are when it should become dusty and take turn. The Galle pitch was totally opposite. It took turn from the first session on the first day and was puffing clouds of dust from all the bowlers' activities. This was INDEED a bad pitch. Sadly, the Asian teams know to prepare only 2 kinds of pitches; a flat highways OR dust bowls where their own teams are equally vulnerable LOL !!

  • Mark00 on September 5, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    Double standards in cricket are pathetic but nothing new. The bias against sub-continental characteristics is ages old. If anything, this pitch played more consistently from day 1 through day 5 than most others.

  • smudgeon on September 5, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    This is a problem - cricket authorities shouldn't be fined for a pitch like this: the match was a corker, the batsmen had to work awfully hard for their runs, and if you can believe it, every single one of the players was "tested". I thought that was the whole point of test cricket. God forbid we should have a contest rather than a 5-day slog fest on the usual roads they serve up these days...

  • PureTom on September 5, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    How can a pitch be bad if there is a result and the match lasted 5 days without significant delays? It seems that only 'dust-bowls' are bad pitches, and 'green-mumba's' are "challenging". Every nation SHOULD prepare pitches that suite themselves when playing at home and most nations do. Occasionally there will be an extreme, but a result wicket over 4 or 5 days, even 3 if a 1 team plays badly, cannot possibly be a bad pitch. As many others have mentioned, the pitch we saw is far more preferable than a 650/4d wicket. As a South African I like to see seaming green tops at most of our grounds, having said that I cannot complain if others prepare rank turners, it's called TEST CRICKET, if you can't handle it play something else!

  • bumsonseats on September 5, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    people are of the opinion that having grass on a pitch makes it a bad pitch. a good covering of grass give the batter and bowler the chance of making runs and taking wickets.and as the game progresses spin will come into the game. the asian countries other than pakistan seem to forget this. u will only do well in world cricket if u have pace bowlers. make wickets with a good covering of grass in your domestic cricket and u will produce pace bowlers. guysits not rocket science, god made grass and water together they will produce wickets with bounce pace carry, ask any spinner, spin without pace/bounce, can be hard work unless u live in SL that is. dpk

  • allieeb on September 5, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    I agree with dsig3. If Aus had lost nobody would have said anything as they are no 5 ranked team. But they won the toss and won. Why do subcont countries play so badly in non subcont countries? Because of bad pitches like the one of mumbai in 2004

  • CricketPissek on September 5, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    the pitch couldn't have been made any worse after the tsunami hit it :-S

  • Evilpengwinz on September 5, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    If this was a "poor" pitch, then I hope that when both teams score 700/3d, that's also a poor pitch, or else the ICC isn't doing the game any favours.

  • on September 5, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    absouletly redicoulus then label all the pitches we and sri lanka played in england as poor this is just partiality if a payer is not able to play in england aus sa inabilty if not in subcontinent turning ptiches and sri lanka have all right to use homeadvantage and in subcontinet its impossible to make lively fast bowling pitches except some grounds if a pitch like this is producing results better than a draw on a flat pitch like we will see at SSC

  • YNS_GoIndia on September 5, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    This is a disgrace. I do not remember similar action by ICC with India's games in Durban (1996) and Edgbaston (1995). Playing on spinning wickets is also skill and not pure luck. Every time the wicket spins more than non-subcontinent teams expect, it is termed as dustbowl and everyone cries foul. Total disgrace.. I am not surprised that Chris Broad is the match referee here.

  • Valavan on September 5, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    If this pitch is bad then what about kolkata pitch in 2010 vs South Africa.

  • Truemans_Ghost on September 5, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    I think this is a bit harsh- good batsmen got runs by batting well, the match made it into the 4th day. Not every pitch should be this tough, but a bit of variation in conditions is good for cricket. As Meety says, it is better than a featherbed.@caughtandbowled, there are two big flaws in your hypothesis. Firstly if you are referring to the recent series in India, only one side struggled on the English wickets, whereas here both sides forund it tough. Secondly it was the Australian side who struggled less. @kingcobra, this summer asian fans did nothing but complain about green pitches. I have no problem with dusty pitches in asia, green ones in england and fast ones in Australia- just no 700 for 6 vs 600 for 5 flat tops please.

  • CaughtAndBowled on September 5, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    India played against NZ in year 2002. The series involves two test matches and both the test matches were over in less than 3 days!!! Kiwis knowing that India would struggle against swing, produced a grassy pitch and in fact both teams got out less than 100 in an innings!!! Sure ICC never bothered to do anything because it is Asian team at the receiving end. Typical.

  • ian_ghose on September 5, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    @CaughtAndBowled - what do you call, Asian batsmen failing on Asian tracks, which they had purposely made to make the English and Australians struggle? See, thats why it's important to watch the game and know the result. Otherwise you end up sounding like a parrot who repeats something it has heard somewhere.

  • AidanFX on September 5, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Ok I don't mind this possible decision by the ICC - so long as the penalty is the same for the typical "dead flat" 500+ for first three innings pitches the sub continent usually dishes up when India v Sri Lanka. Consistency is the key here.

  • Lord.emsworth on September 5, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Serve SL right for thinking that they had the spinning prerogative and prepare such a pitch. They badly underestimated the Oz spinners. I dont know why Sl think they are such spin masters.... After Murali there have been many pretenders but they have all bitten the dust.

  • on September 5, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    While I agree that there are often too many complaints made about pitches, in this case it is a fair argument. When Asian batsmen fail on Australian pitches, it does tend to reflect badly on their own performances because Australian pitches tend to be more Batsman friendly than Subcontinent pitches (especially Adelaide and Brisbane) but the same applies when Aussie batsmen fail in Oz: they are still batsmen failing on a batting track. In this test, however, the Australians can hardly be blamed for pointing fingers at the pitch as, funnily enough, they scored MORE RUNS than SL. Winning puts you in a position where you CAN comment on a bad pitch without looking like you're simply making excuses. Poor pitch....although it is nice to see a result rather than a slow and painful draw!!

  • MartinC on September 5, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    @caughtandbowled - you do know Australia won the Test? Its not the Aussies complaining because they were beaten they won. Its not actually the Aussies complaining at all its the ICC saying the pitch was not fit for Test cricket.

    No conspiracy to find here - just a home board who went too far. Home advantage a pitches which have local characteristics is fine - no one was expecting a gree seamer - but doctored pitches are not.

  • vichan on September 5, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    @rana2000 "Australia did not win this. SL lost it"...An all too familiar excuse that was bandied about a lot during the England vs. India series also. These days it seems sides playing against the Subcontinent countries never actually win any matches...

  • on September 5, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    horrible pitch...shame on SLC...sri lanken wickets not roads they do assist bowlers,

  • jonesy2 on September 5, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    yeah well when there are guys putting mud on the pitch after rain and drying it with a hair dryer then its not a great pitch

  • on September 5, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Well it clearly backfired on them, they lose comprehensively even after producing a dust bowl. Producing a turner is fine as that's the strength of teams like India and used to be for Sri lanka(when they had murali) but the way it behaved even on day one and two requires inspection.

  • mixters on September 5, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    If you shave the grass of the pitch 1 day out from a test this is what happens the batsmaen that struggled were the Sri Lankans (see the result) so all these Asian pitches and rasist English and Australians is garbage this was a very poor pitch, the 2004 Mumbi pitch was a very poor pitch the 2010 Gabba pitch was a very poor pitch for being the other end of the scale 2 wickets on the last 2 days play. Just stop all this Asians get a hard time nonsencs asians domminate world cricket on and of the pitch stop playing the poor hard done by card IT WAS A BAD PITCH

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on September 5, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    What rubbish? This was a magnificent test match wicket! True skills were on exhibition. If you want to sanction a wicket, sanction the one where 517/1 was scored.

  • dompocock on September 5, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    I wonder if the pitch would have been rated poor if it had been flat and lifeless with 600-4 declared playing 500 and petering out to a boring draw on the fifth day? Somehow I doubt it but yet we are seeing more and more of these pitches in world cricket (not just the sub-continent) as local boards seek to get maximum revenue and shy away from preparing lively surfaces which should; be hard to bat on on day 1 with help for the fast bowlers, good for batting days 2 and 3 and deteriorating on days 4 and 5 for the spinners with a little variable bounce, that would be perfect, won't get them every time but it does produce interesting cricket. As for the 'dirty lawns' comment I assume that this is a barbed reference to the English pitches this summer; I would say this, they only looked tough to bat on when India were batting (i.e. against quality bowling), not when England were racking up 500+ regularly against a threadbare unprepared Indian bowling unit.

  • krnataraj on September 5, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    let us see next time what ICC would do when a test ends in 3-4 days in england or australia as a result of "bad pitch" preparation!!!

  • tinkertinker on September 5, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Why do people keep saying things about the aussies complaining about pitches they can't play on?

    They didn't complain, they just went out and made the best of a difficult situation, unlike india who when faced with a green pitch just roll over.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on September 5, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    This is pathetic decision from the ICC. The test match was exciting and the pitch was fantastic. Featherbeds like Mohali, Ahmedabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Premadasa, Mirpur, Abu Dhabi will destroy test cricket -- not this wonderful sporting wicket at Galle which produced a thrilling contest.

  • KingOwl on September 5, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    The wicket was definitely very challenging and I think it cost SL the match, not because it was a difficult pitch, but because it was an unexpected pitch. By the time SL really understood the nature of the pitch, it was too late for them. However, I don't buy the idea that this was below test standards. A near century was made on the first day. A century and a near century was made on the fourth day! Only a complete imbecile (a.k.a. Broad) can conclude that this pitch needs to be penaised!

  • yorkslanka on September 5, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    I don't believe the pitch was doctored intentionally but it was the inefficiency of our grounsdmen.i honestly don't think they have the skill to intentionally produce a track like that.this is only my opinion..

  • fazald on September 5, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    I do agree with RJHB. The intention was quite clear even before a ball was bowled that SLCB had already planned to rout the aussies by preparing a substandard pitch in Galle & from there on win the series 3-0 after denting their confidence altogether. Yet I was quite surprised that Ajantha Mendis was omitted from the side when three spinners were expected to play.I think the ICC has to take action against teams that deliberately doctor pitches where the wickets start to take spin within the first hour of play or blacklist such venues where the conditions are found to be substandard.

  • on September 5, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    I find it interesting to note, that SL have not once beaten AUS at the three venues that are being used this series... (OK I will admit it's difficult to beat someone on a ground you have never played them at, Pallekele, but still...)

  • Samdanh on September 5, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    The difference between dust bowls and lawns is that lawns cannot turn out to be dangerous and uneven pitches, whereas for pitches to be dustbowls they have to be shorn off all grass which makes it break right from first hour as the surface does not have anything to hold on. It wears down too quickly and could result in an uneven contest. Result could go in favour of the most lucky which is not the fair way to go. Lawns are more sporting than dustbowls, hands down, any day. Countries will have to mature, refresh and change their approach and turn out sporting pitches than lawns or least of all ..dustbowls!

  • Samdanh on September 5, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    SL should go for sporting pitches for the remaning Tests and make them more well contested by both sides. Sporting pitches are those that aid fast bowlers 60:40 first day; batsmen 60:40 2nd and third day, spinners 60:40 on 4th and 5th day. Such pitches are the norm across Australia and England and to some extent in South Africa. Other countries have scope to improve on this front. They need to refresh their outlook and approach

  • CaughtAndBowled on September 5, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    If Asian batsman struggle in English or Australian conditions, it is their inability. If an Australian or English batsman struggle in Asian tracks, it is purely the track which needs to be blamed!!!

  • on September 5, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Even as a SL supporter i was embarrassed by the pitch, good on the Aussies for winning! hope this is lesson for the future

  • chandau on September 5, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    LOL Lots of people blame the pitch but how many of them know about "PREPARING A TEST PITCH" or batted on one ? The rains in SL few days before did not help as the management were concerned not to have a wet wicket and no play at all!!! At the same time this new pitch seems to be a real dry one (people who dont know much about Galle need to understand this pich and the middle was relaid after the 2004 tsunami!). therefore storymy 16; Galle has not always been a dry pitch. There was a time when SL struggled to bowl out Zimbabwe (with the likes of Flower brothers, Neil, Alistaire, Murray, Sean, Heath, et al in it). AND STORYMY 16 not all tracks in SL are spin friendly. The P Sara pitch is still pace friendly but has slowed down a little. The SSC was a very fast wicket before being relaid. (Wonder if u saw Brett the bear Shultz bowl at SSC in the 1990s). Evryone plaese note that the pitch will slow down over time irrespective of the grass on it. Look at OZ & WI now lol

  • Meety on September 5, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    @ stormy16 - the analogy used regarding the Gabba is quite poor. The problem in Galle is (as others have commented), was that the pitch seemed to be dry despite lots of wet weather. Nothing wrong with a "dryish" pitch, however, a pitch that was falling to bits on the first day was bad. I'm reluctant to say it was "doctored" despite a lot of anecdotal evidence, maybe the ability of the groundsmen employed in SL need to be looked at, as the only other type of pitch that tends to be served up in SL is something akin to a road. In respect of the Gabba, generally humid & hot conditions lead to pitches that have a green tinge, & they become hard. However during the Ashes last year, unseasonally cool whether meant that the Gabba didn't bake hard like usual & turned into a road on which just 2 wickets fell on the last 2 days. Wet conditions leading up to the 1st test saw some life in the pitch on the first 2 days. This is normal in QLD. A dustbowl in wet conditions is suspicious as in Galle.

  • kingcobra85 on September 5, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    sub continent teams cant complain about green pitches but these people can! I cant help but only see Hypocrisy from teams touring sub continent.... Dust bowls should be as welcomed as dirty lawns

  • Bollo on September 5, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    @spiritwithin, re.`dont forget the same indian team thrashed the almost same aus side 9 months back in india.` The definition of a thrashing is what recently happened to India, not the closely fought 2-0 victory (including a very lucky 1-wicket win) India enjoyed over the Aussies last year.

    Perhaps if the Indian team (and fans) had taken closer note of their deficiencies in this series (saved by Laxman and a bit of luck both times), rather than spouting on about the `whitewash` and `domination` they may not have reached the woefully low ebb they are currently at re.their test side.

  • Bollo on September 5, 2011, 3:00 GMT

    @hyclass, re.`The pitch should always be a product of the local conditions.This one wasnt.` Sums it up perfectly. This is why I believe Australian pitches have generally been the best in the world - they reflect the variety of conditions in which cricket is played in Australia, not the whims of the local board/team.

    The obvious over-preparation of this pitch, ostensibly to suit the locals, made the win one to really savour.

  • Meety on September 5, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    I'd take a dodgy pitch over a featherbed any day of the week (except if we lose - LOL!).

  • OvickX on September 4, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    Stormy16 theres a difference between a flat track and a loose track. it started taking chunks out of it from the very first session. However I loved the pitch, it was very challenging and good to watch. When Sanga looks so lost on a pitch u can call that anything but flat wicket!

  • hyclass on September 4, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    @stormy16...can you not see the irony in your statement.Its BECAUSE wickets have always turned on the sub-continent,that they dont need to be doctored.For Mike Hussey,with 32000 1st class and List A runs,to state that its the driest first day wicket hes ever seen,should be enough.That the S/L felt the same way about it and struggled to bat on it emphasises it.The pitch should always be a product of the local conditions.This one wasnt.While it continued to rain,as it has done for at least a year,washing out the WI series and delaying this test,the pitch looked like a pile of sand amongst a lush green oasis.The game lasted for 292 overs,or a little over 3 days,given how quickly spinners bowl their overs.There are 450 overs available for a test.Far from being a triumph,this pitch was a travesty.It robbed the batsmen,the spectators of 2 days play and overstated the bowlers.Nothing useable can be derived by the selectors from that.Doctored pitches are bad for everyone and must stamped out.

  • RJHB on September 4, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    Fair dinkum, to those people such as Stormy16, who continue to defend the pitch at Galle, you only had to look at the weather during the match and the lush outfield which wasn't terribly fast to see that the only reason the pitch was so dry was that it was deliberately prepared to be so. We don't expect a greentop and we certainly don't want a boring "road", but a sporting pitch that gives both sides a chance for victory and an even contest between bat and ball. This pitch was never intended to provide that but rather make sure Sri Lanka's three spinners could rout the Australian batsmen who are widely thought of as being terribly weak against spin. Maybe next time the toss should be rigged as well to make sure the home side gets best use of their doctored pitch! Victory is SWEET!

  • on September 4, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Pitches should, sometimes, bowler friendly! It'd be horrible to see flat decks everywhere!

  • stormy16 on September 4, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    This doctoring pitch story is absurd to say the least!! It was a tough wicket helping the spinners which is what its always been. Sure some big scores have been made before but what else do people expect in Galle - a green top? Well that would amount to doctoring as there's never ever been a green top in Galle. Tracks in SL are basically spinner friendly or flat as a pancake with plenty of runs and that's nothing new - its always been that and always will be. The only issue is Aus adapted and played better on that track and SL looked lost on a wicket that they should be familiar with. It always amazes me how visiting teams make so much of the pitch but wthen SL go to Aus - say Gabba - you dont exactly get a flat low track aiding spin??

  • fazald on September 4, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    This is a good lesson to home teams who doctor their wickets to suit their bowlers which could eventually backfire if the team loses the toss.Though Australia had an inexperienced spin bowler in Nathan Lyon making his debut he did bowl very well in the first innings to grab five scalps whilst the fastmen did their job too by claiming thirteen Sri Lanka wickets to fall by bowling good line & length consistently worrying their batsmen.There is a marked change in the Australian cricket team already thanks to Craig McDermott the new bowling coach & Steve Rixon the new fielding coach for their input. With Ricky Ponting not available to play in the second test David Warner should be given the opportunity to break into the test team.

  • Winsome on September 4, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    I'm glad the pitch wa as toughie, it made for enthralling cricket. Batsmen always moan about pitches, they can't help themselves. There were plenty of rank get-out shots from both line-ups, Ricky Ponting's in the second innings a case in point. Batsmen who showed some application did ok.

  • djdrastic on September 4, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    I'm sure Michel Clarke was delighted to win this test . Nothing like winning a really hard fought match to get your squad gelling.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 4, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Australia are now at the point England were after the 06/07 Ashes. They're about 5 years or so behind. Australia fans shouldn't be too disheartened though: England may have the better bowlers, batsmen etc and be the better team but if they keep training hard and playing to win, they will improve. What's good for England fans is that nobody can dispute that they are world number one by a country mile.

  • Charindra on September 4, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    @Eli Mahendra - Well said.

  • Marcio on September 4, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    This was an excellent win for AUS, even despite the fact that winning the toss played a big part in it. I think the key point in the match is how AUS batted in their second innings, when the pitch was at its worst. Let's face it. After Watson went first ball, they could have panicked and just gone for survival mode and been all out for 100 themselves. But all batsmen, especially Clarke, went on the attack. This was a masterstroke, and really took the game from SL. I do expect SL will be very difficult to beat in the last two games, and if AUS can win one more test it would be an exceptional result for the team in its current rebuilding phase. As I predicted on day 1, the pitch manipulation backfired. I was however surprised the pitch held together as well as it did on day's 3 & 4. I feared it would just crumble to bits. Still, Jayawardene and Mathews showed great spirit batting last, and this was no easy victory.

  • on September 4, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    if sri lanksns know to doctor a pitch...then The Aussies know how to MASTER on DOCTORED pitches...Hail Aussies...hail PUNTER

  • Synex_SL on September 4, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    I think pitch is not the only problem. I was the ridiculous effort by the SL in the 1st innings which made the change. Dilshan irresponsible and randiv should be in the side. We would have won by a plenty if have batter proper in the first innings without throwing our wickets away. These kind of wickets make test cricket enjoyable to watch at least for me :)

  • Walagambahu on September 4, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    Galle pitch has always given something to the batsmen & the bowlers. If I may recall, we usually get RESULTS in Galle, something we can hardly expect in many other SL grounds. Pretty pathetic to blame the pitch for many many soft dismissals we saw in the game. How can comical dismissals like Samaraweera can be a attributed to the pitch ? Most of the dismissals in the SL first innings were due to pathetic bating, nothing to do with the pitch.

  • Valavan on September 3, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    Not just SL also India does the same, win toss bat first in feather bed, toil the opposition and break into tired opposition batters. I think India,SL will have long term problems in replacements. In a way SL comment on bringing young blood while india speaks about their useless batters who are out of date out of subcontinent.

  • mixters on September 3, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    I hate they way when ever an article appers on cric info we end up talking about India. However the IPL witch should have no bearing on test cricket is helping the batsmen from the rest of the world gain valuable experince on sub contenent wickets, not just on game pitches but practice wickets as well. the home teams will always handle there own conditions best but there are a lot more non Indians playing in India these days great for the game but it will eventually reduce the home pitch advantage on the sub continent. (IT was a terrible Pitch in Galle) I bet the TV rites people think they have not got value for money telecasting this match.

  • dsig3 on September 3, 2011, 22:33 GMT

    Just listened to Russel Arnolds audio piece. What a joke. This is why test cricket is dying in the subcontinent. The only way Sri Lanka think they can win is by making featherbeds and hope that the opposition gets bored and implodes. That was a scary interview. I hope Sri Lanka never go further than their current ranking because their style will destroy the game.

  • gothetaniwha on September 3, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    lets face it the pitch was not up to test standard , I,m ok with Sri Lanka preparing pitches that suit there bowlers - thats what you do at home , the problem was the Aussie won toss , i,m sure if Sri Lanka won toss and batted they would have won by plenty .Sri Lanka cricket has now got a big problem - - No Muri and it looks like the spinners that have replaced him are only average at best .

  • bumsonseats on September 3, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    i think when i heard russel arnolds audio piece. you could tell the SL reasoning to the wicket and the series. win the opening test, and the 2nd and 3rd test wickets would be absolute belters. and win the series 1 - 0 with 2 draws. now what do they do now, that will be the dilemma. trust their batters and bowlers to get them out of the fix that the SL cricket board got them into with the groundsmans doctoring of the 1st test pitch. i would think the wickets will be similar to what we have just had. the old adage comes to mind you made your bed u have to lay in it. it will be interesting to see what we get. lets hope u post this piece. dpk

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on September 3, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    All that water and not a drop to spare for the pitch? Can understand how pitches can be hard and bouncy if the sun and soil conditions dictate or seam in countries with lots of rain but a dry , dusty dirt track is just pitch manipulation and does SL no favours if they want to improve their cricket world wide. The brilliant batsmen of SL deserve better. As do the SL fans.

  • on September 3, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    Sri Lanka needs to start some serious soul searching. The World Cup debacle, Cardiff and then this, especially the 1st innings.

  • Narkovian on September 3, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    I agree with Ellis. Pitch was obviously aimed at being a batsman's nightmare to suit SL spinners. Unfortunately it wasn't just suitable for spinners, it was a total joke. Hopefuly taught them a lesson. Well done AUS for somehow managing to bat on it.

  • desi1 on September 3, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    I think it is the lack of quality in batting these days that leads to such complaints about the nature of the pitch. A fourth innings total of 250+ is good. Dont blame pitches for all the batting collapses. 105 is never justified, on this pitch.

  • NALINWIJ on September 3, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Difficult pitch that backfired on SL. Dumb selection mistake in leaving out Mendis. Replacing Mendis with Randiv turned out to be another selection blunder like world cup final. The correct way to bat is to respect the pitch and what the opponent does and play accordingly. Have a game plan on when to be cautious or attack. The first innings was the worst batting display by SL except for the capitulation in England.They need to bring Mendis back and Dilshan should show more respect for the pitch and play a tight brand of cricket like what Jayawardene and Mathews did in the second innings.

  • RohanMarkJay on September 3, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    @rana2000 I agree with you. This is a good win by Australia, but already people from England and Australia are saying Aussies are back to their glory days. Its like with the England team at the moment they have a a couple of series wins and everyone in England is hyping the England team as the best in history which is absurd. I am sure when England tour Sri Lanka. England will get thumped and their arrogant supporters will eat humble pie. Go Sri Lanka!

  • spiritwithin on September 3, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    @landl47..remember warne & murali were the best spinners whenever their team used to come to india but still they struggled in indian dustbowls and to think that swann will make indian batsman struggle is going overboard,though swann outbowled the indian spinners in oval tests but he's not that impressive overall against the indian batsman in whole series,in SL warne was succesfull but not in india similarly murali was successful in SL but not in india....dont forget the same indian team thrashed the almost same aus side 9 months back in india,so subcontinent team will still dominate at home especially india

  • Ellis on September 3, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    The Australians are being kind in their comments regarding the wicket. Simply put, it was a disgrace to Test cricket. Despite suggestions from SL fans about a " sporting" wicket, this was an abomination. SL shot themselves in the foot with this wicket. In the circumstances, the innings played by Jayawardene, Hussey, Clarke, and Mathews were exceptional. Again, the fighting spirit of the Australians won out. Sri Lanka will have to dig deep to win or draw this series. Hopefully, we will get reasonable wickets for the other two Tests.

  • landl47 on September 3, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    This was probably a very good pitch for Sri Lanka when they had Murali, but these days other countries don't have to worry about him. Without him, it was essential for SL to win the toss and when they didn't, their fate was sealed. Since it obviously was a deliberate decision to prepare a dustbowl, it backfired on SL in a big way. The subcontinental countries are going to find that spiining wickets do not necessarily favor them more than their opponents. Swann completely outbowled the Indian spinners in the Oval test in England and will do so again if wickets like this are prepared in SL and India. The day of subcontinental dominance at home is over. Well played, Australia.

  • KingOwl on September 3, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Australia did not win this. SL lost it. The reason was simple - SL went in to their first innings overestimating their target score, which reflected an underestimation of the conditions. If they had set themselves a more modest target in the 1st Inning, they would have done much better - come very close to Aus or even taken a small lead. But instead, they went in thinking of making 500 when it was impossible to make 500 on this wicket. And the over confidence led to a collapse. Had they put their heads down from the start, they would have won this match.

  • dsig3 on September 3, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    If Aus had not one this would have all been swept under the carpet as Aus not being able to handle the conditions. I am glad he has called it for what it was. The Galle groundsman and Sri Lankan cricket board deserve to be a bit embarrassed by this.

  • Chris_P on September 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    A good solid effort from the guys on a difficult pitch against a determined opponent. What I liked was the fact that all the bowlers contributed and didn't rely on 1 or 2 to stand up all the time. It's early days, I know, but any win over there is something to be proud of. And to be truthful, I would rather see matches like this with these type of pitches rather than roads where scores get to 4/650 each side.

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  • Chris_P on September 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    A good solid effort from the guys on a difficult pitch against a determined opponent. What I liked was the fact that all the bowlers contributed and didn't rely on 1 or 2 to stand up all the time. It's early days, I know, but any win over there is something to be proud of. And to be truthful, I would rather see matches like this with these type of pitches rather than roads where scores get to 4/650 each side.

  • dsig3 on September 3, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    If Aus had not one this would have all been swept under the carpet as Aus not being able to handle the conditions. I am glad he has called it for what it was. The Galle groundsman and Sri Lankan cricket board deserve to be a bit embarrassed by this.

  • KingOwl on September 3, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Australia did not win this. SL lost it. The reason was simple - SL went in to their first innings overestimating their target score, which reflected an underestimation of the conditions. If they had set themselves a more modest target in the 1st Inning, they would have done much better - come very close to Aus or even taken a small lead. But instead, they went in thinking of making 500 when it was impossible to make 500 on this wicket. And the over confidence led to a collapse. Had they put their heads down from the start, they would have won this match.

  • landl47 on September 3, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    This was probably a very good pitch for Sri Lanka when they had Murali, but these days other countries don't have to worry about him. Without him, it was essential for SL to win the toss and when they didn't, their fate was sealed. Since it obviously was a deliberate decision to prepare a dustbowl, it backfired on SL in a big way. The subcontinental countries are going to find that spiining wickets do not necessarily favor them more than their opponents. Swann completely outbowled the Indian spinners in the Oval test in England and will do so again if wickets like this are prepared in SL and India. The day of subcontinental dominance at home is over. Well played, Australia.

  • Ellis on September 3, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    The Australians are being kind in their comments regarding the wicket. Simply put, it was a disgrace to Test cricket. Despite suggestions from SL fans about a " sporting" wicket, this was an abomination. SL shot themselves in the foot with this wicket. In the circumstances, the innings played by Jayawardene, Hussey, Clarke, and Mathews were exceptional. Again, the fighting spirit of the Australians won out. Sri Lanka will have to dig deep to win or draw this series. Hopefully, we will get reasonable wickets for the other two Tests.

  • spiritwithin on September 3, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    @landl47..remember warne & murali were the best spinners whenever their team used to come to india but still they struggled in indian dustbowls and to think that swann will make indian batsman struggle is going overboard,though swann outbowled the indian spinners in oval tests but he's not that impressive overall against the indian batsman in whole series,in SL warne was succesfull but not in india similarly murali was successful in SL but not in india....dont forget the same indian team thrashed the almost same aus side 9 months back in india,so subcontinent team will still dominate at home especially india

  • RohanMarkJay on September 3, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    @rana2000 I agree with you. This is a good win by Australia, but already people from England and Australia are saying Aussies are back to their glory days. Its like with the England team at the moment they have a a couple of series wins and everyone in England is hyping the England team as the best in history which is absurd. I am sure when England tour Sri Lanka. England will get thumped and their arrogant supporters will eat humble pie. Go Sri Lanka!

  • NALINWIJ on September 3, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Difficult pitch that backfired on SL. Dumb selection mistake in leaving out Mendis. Replacing Mendis with Randiv turned out to be another selection blunder like world cup final. The correct way to bat is to respect the pitch and what the opponent does and play accordingly. Have a game plan on when to be cautious or attack. The first innings was the worst batting display by SL except for the capitulation in England.They need to bring Mendis back and Dilshan should show more respect for the pitch and play a tight brand of cricket like what Jayawardene and Mathews did in the second innings.

  • desi1 on September 3, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    I think it is the lack of quality in batting these days that leads to such complaints about the nature of the pitch. A fourth innings total of 250+ is good. Dont blame pitches for all the batting collapses. 105 is never justified, on this pitch.

  • Narkovian on September 3, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    I agree with Ellis. Pitch was obviously aimed at being a batsman's nightmare to suit SL spinners. Unfortunately it wasn't just suitable for spinners, it was a total joke. Hopefuly taught them a lesson. Well done AUS for somehow managing to bat on it.