The pitch for the second and final Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka was rated ‘below average’ by David Boon, the ICC match referee, on Wednesday (February 14).
As a result, according to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, the pitch has received one demerit point, which will remain active for a five-year period. During this period, if the venue reaches a total of five demerit points, it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for 12 months.
The pitch came in for criticism after only 681 runs were scored for the loss of 40 wickets in a three-day affair, as Sri Lanka went on to win the Test by 215 runs and clinch the two-match series 1-0. Roshen Silva, the Sri Lankan middle-order batsman with 70 not out, was the top-scorer of the match.
“From day one, there was evidence of the ball breaking the pitch surface, which resulted in uneven bounce throughout the match, along with inconsistent turn, which was even excessive at times,” Boon’s report, which was also forwarded to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), said. “This pitch produced a contest that was too heavily skewed in favour of the bowlers, and didn’t give the batsmen a fair chance to display their skills.”
This one will be a tough pill to swallow for BCB, considering the pitch used for the first Test, which resulted in a high-scoring draw in Chittagong, too was rated ‘below average’.
The board, though, vowed to improve pitches after the ICC rebuke.
“Since we received this rating, we will be more careful about preparing the venues” said Nizamuddin Chowdhury, BCB CEO.