Newlands pitch gets away with 'unsatisfactory' rating by ICC

The Newlands contest lasted 642 balls with India registering a series-levelling victory against South Africa in the shortest ever Test

By Reuters

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India's pace bowler Mukesh Kumar appeals for a wicket during the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town. — PTI
India's pace bowler Mukesh Kumar appeals for a wicket during the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town. — PTI

Published: Tue 9 Jan 2024, 7:31 PM

The pitch in Cape Town, where India beat South Africa inside five sessions of a Test match last week, has incurred one demerit point after being rated "unsatisfactory", the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Tuesday.

The Newlands contest lasted 642 balls with India registering a series-levelling victory in the shortest ever Test in which there has been a winner, beating Australia's 656-ball victory over South Africa in 1932.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar, playing his farewell match, and India counterpart Rohit Sharma both felt the pitch was below-standard and many would feel the venue got away with a rather light punishment.

"The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on," match referee Chris Broad said in an ICC statement.

"The ball bounced quickly and sometimes alarmingly throughout the match, making it difficult to play shots.

"Several batters were hit on the gloves and many wickets also fell due to the awkward bounce."

South Africa, electing to bat, were bundled out for 55 in their first innings and spinners were not used at all by either of the sides.

Hosts Cricket South Africa have 14 days to appeal against the sanction.

Under the ICC rules, "unsatisfactory" rating incur one demerit point, three points are slapped if a venue is found 'unfit' under the governing body's pitch and outfield monitoring process.

These points will remain active for a rolling five-year period.

If a venue accumulates six demerit points in that period, it is suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months.

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