ICC overturns Rawalpindi pitch demerit point on PCB’s appeal

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A demerit point handed to Pakistan’s Rawalpindi pitch was on Monday rescinded following an appeal, a month after it was deemed “below average” during a Test against England.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said a panel reviewed footage of the match following a challenge by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and was unanimous in its decision.

“There were several redeeming features — including the fact that a result was achieved following a compelling game, with 37 out of a possible 39 wickets being taken,” the ICC said. “As such, the appeal panel concluded that the wicket did not warrant the ‘below average’ rating.”

The lifeless pitch yielded 1,786 runs in the December Test, prompting match referee Andy Pycroft to hand out the penalty. England piled up 657 runs in their first innings, including a world-record opening-day score of 506-4.

The tourists won the Test by 74 runs after setting Pakistan a 343-run target. At the time, Pycroft was quoted in an ICC statement saying “it was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler”.