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“Breaking: ICC Delivers Verdict on Newlands Pitch – Unprecedented Rating Unleashes Cricket Controversy!”

Cape Town Pitch Rated “Unsatisfactory” after Shortest-Ever Completed Test Match

The International Cricket Council (ICC) took a significant decision on Monday (8 January), rating the Newlands pitch as ‘Unsatisfactory’ following the brief ICC World Test Championship encounter between South Africa and India.

This verdict, part of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, was prompted by Newlands hosting the shortest-ever completed Test match, where only 642 balls were bowled in total.

Mohammed Siraj’s remarkable 6/15 restricted South Africa to 55 in their first innings, while India secured a 98-run lead with their total of 153. Despite a counter-attacking century from Aiden Markram, India chased down a target of 79, winning by seven wickets on day two.

ICC Match Referee Chris Broad submitted a report expressing the concerns of match officials, leading to the Newlands pitch being labeled “unsatisfactory.”

“The pitch in Newlands was very difficult to bat on,” Broad remarked. “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.”

In the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, a substandard pitch or outfield results in the allocation of demerit points to the venue. Newlands, in this case, receives one demerit point.

Should a venue accumulate six demerit points, it faces a 12-month suspension from hosting international cricket. The penalty extends to 24 months if the venue reaches 12 demerit points. These points remain active for a rolling five-year period.

Cricket South Africa has a 14-day window to appeal against the sanction.

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