Warning for Sri Lanka over ‘poor’ wicket
Sri Lanka were let off with a warning on Friday for the poor pitch
during Australia’s Test in Galle last month and were ordered to rectify
it before England tour in March.
The International Cricket Council had hauled up Sri Lanka after the
dusty wicket at the Galle International Stadium was rated as “poor” by
match referee Chris Broad of England.
The Test, won by Australia by 125 runs in early September, saw 40
wickets fall in under four days, 16 of them on the second day. The ICC,
who issued the warning on Friday, directed its pitch consultant to carry
out an inspection of the wicket by the end of October and recommend any
corrective action that may be required.
Sri Lanka have been asked to confirm that any recommendations have
been carried out before it can host the first of two Test matches
against England from March 26-30.
ICC official David Richardson, who probed the quality of the wicket
with chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, accepted Broad’s
charge the pitch was poor. “We have come to a decision that the pitch
prepared for the match should be rated as ‘poor’,” Richardson, a former
South African wicket-keeper, said in an ICC statement.
“Whilst we do not wish to see a pitch that is too heavily weighted in
favour of the batsmen, in this instance, the balance was just too much
in favour of the bowler.
“However, taking into account that it was the first time that a pitch
at Galle has been rated as ‘poor’, we have decided to impose a warning
as the sanction.”
The ICC can impose sanctions ranging from a warning and/or a fine for
a first offence to a suspension of international matches at the venue in
the case of repeated offences.
Rival captains Michael Clarke Tillakaratne Dilshan had slammed the
dry wicket after the match.
“Day one felt like day five out there,” said Clarke.
Australia’s win at Galle allowed them to take the series 1-0 as the
next two Tests, in Pallekele and Colombo, were drawn. NEW DELHI, Friday