The pitch at the Gabba used during the first Test of the three-match series between Australia and South Africa has received a ‘below average’ rating from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
A green top, the contest between the two sides lasted for just two days, with 34 wickets falling in this duration. The Proteas’ top-order and batting line-up crumbled in both innings as the tourists were bundled out for 152 and 99 against a fierce Australian bowling attack.
After facing a 6-wicket defeat within two days, South Africa captain Dean Elgar questioned the quality of pitch, acknowledging that it was “not a good Test wicket”.
On Tuesday, the ICC elite match referee Richie Richardson rated the green Gabba pitch as ‘below average’. In his statement, Richardson said that the pitch for the opening Test of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) series in Australia was not an even contest between bat and ball.
The Gabba has subsequently received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.
“Overall, the Gabba pitch for this Test match was too much in favour of the bowlers. There was extra bounce and occasional excessive seam movement,” said Richardson.
“The odd delivery also kept low on the second day, making it very difficult for batters to build partnerships.
“I found the pitch to be ‘below average’ as per the ICC guidelines since it was not an even contest between bat and ball.”
Richardson’s report has also been sent to Cricket Australia (CA).
Talking about the demerit point, it will remain active for a rolling five-year period.
“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.”
The second Test will have a Boxing Day (December 26) start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).