A selection of cricket pitches in Brisbane have been rated ‘below average’ by global governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The pitches at the Allan Border Field and the Tony Ireland Stadium in the Queensland city have been assessed by match referees from Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking to media, ICC’s general manager of cricket authority, Dave Richardson, said: “Unfortunately, cricket in Brisbane is below the average of pitch standards that we expect for international games. They are either too batting friendly or too bowler friendly, with no balance between the two.”
The ICC has been increasingly vocal about their aim to ensure balance between bat and ball for international cricket games.
In the last 12-18 months, the ICC has expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of pitches around the world, pointing out that such surfaces are far from suitable for cricket at the highest level.
Brisbane has now joined some more established cricketing nations in being subject to the ICC’s criticism over pitch quality.
Such matters are taken very seriously by the ICC and they’ve said they will be closely monitoring Brisbane’s next pitches in the future to make sure they have the correct balance.
In the meantime, they have urged the local cricket authorities to analyse test match pitches more closely, in order to strike that balance and get their ratings back to an acceptable level.
Brisbane Pitch Earns Below Average Rating from ICC
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reviewed the pitch used for the third and final test match between India and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane, ruling it to be “below average”.
What ICC’s Report Found
The ICC’s Pitch Committee found the pitch to be “too slow for Test cricket”. As a result, it has been rated as “poor”, just one level before “unfit”. The pitch was low in bounce and made it difficult for bowlers to extract pace and movement.
Repercussions for Gabba
The Gabba is traditionally known to produce very fast wickets, so the heavy criticism received is an indication of the lack of pace and flatness of the pitch used during the third Test.
The ICC has imposed some repercussions on the Gabba, including removing it from the list of venues eligible to host ‘day-night’ Test matches over the next 12 months.
Reaction to Criticism
Following the ICC’s review, Cricket Australia has responded with an apology for the substandard pitch. Complaints from both players, fans and the cricketing media have been heard, and the Australia Cricket Board has committed to working closely with stadium authorities to ensure a better surface for upcoming matches.
Lessons for the Future
Going forward, Cricket Australia has stated that it will ensure all Test venues in Australia are acceptable to the ICC’s Pitch rating criteria.
In particular, the ICC hopes to:
- Encourage a balanced contest between bat and ball- Cricket matches should normally be won and lost on skill, rather than the environment.
- Produce pitches suitable for five days of Test cricket- This means providing surfaces that allow the game to unfold over five days, leading to a result.
- See pitches remain consistent throughout a game- Pitches should be consistent throughout a game, and not deteriorate significantly during the course of it.
Cricket Australia is hopeful that this incident has been a one off and wishes to remind stadiums that they must fully comply with the ICC’s pitch criteria in order to host Test matches in the future.