The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has formally protested against the “poor” rating accorded to the Indore pitch by the International Cricket Council (ICC). In a formal letter, mailed by an official of the BCCI recently, the cricket board has sought a review of Match Referee Chris Broad’s condemnation of the playing surface at the Holkar Stadium. The rating has come with three demerit points that will remain active for a five-year rolling period. The Test, third of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and part of the World Test Championship (WTC), had ended inside three days (March 1-3) with India losing by nine wickets in the first session of Day Three.
The serious part of the Match Referee’s verdict is the impending danger of suspension to the ground. As per the rules, “When a venue accumulates five demerit points (or crosses that threshold), it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months, while a venue will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 24 months when it reaches the threshold of 10 demerit points.” According to sources in the BCCI, an appeal was always on the cards as the rating appears to have been given in haste. The match referee’s adjudication of the pitch came just hours after the Test ended, unusual in such matters by the ICC. The BCCI officials also feel that there is room for review and downgrading the verdict to below average if possible. A two-member committee of the ICC will now look into the BCCI objection. An ICC reconsideration or a review is not unprecedented. Recently, the world body had rescinded its decision on the Rawalpindi pitch which was initially declared ‘Below Average’ and allotted one demerit point. But on an appeal by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the ICC went back on its rating and withdrew the punitive measure to the stadium that hosted a WTC Test between Pakistan and England from December 1 to 5.According to an ICC statement on March 3, Broad felt that the Holkar Stadium pitch was dry and there was no balance between the bat and ball.