Newlands pitch for SA vs Ind 2nd Test rated ‘unsatisfactory’ with demerit point

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The ICC gave an “unsatisfactory” rating and one demerit point to the pitch at Newlands in Cape Town, where the New Year’s Test between South Africa and India was held. Cricket South Africa has decided not to challenge the sanction and considers it a fair assessment. The match, won by India, lasted less than five sessions and just 642 balls, making it the shortest result Test in history. Fast bowlers dominated the game, exploiting seam movement and uneven bounce, with no spin bowled. ICC match referee Chris Broad consulted with both team captains, who felt the pitch was below standard, leading to the “unsatisfactory” rating. Broad noted that the pitch was very difficult to bat on, with quick and alarming bounce, and several batters getting hit on the gloves. Pitches and outfields can be rated very good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or unfit under the ICC’s monitoring process, with demerit points awarded accordingly. If a venue accumulates six demerit points, it can be suspended from hosting international cricket for 12 months, and 24 months for 12 demerit points.

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