The pitch used at Rawalpindi in the first test match between England and Pakistan has been rated “below average” by match referee Andy Pycroft earning a second successive demerit point.

Pycroft in his notes said that “It was a very flat pitch which gave almost no assistance to any type of bowler,”.”That was the main reason why batters scored very fast and both sides posted huge totals.

“The pitch hardly deteriorated during the course of the match. Since there was very little in it for the bowlers, I found the pitch to be “below average” as per the ICC guidelines.”

This news comes as a little shock to anyone who watched the match as England used the flat track to score a record-breaking 506 runs on the very first day before finishing with 657 runs in total.

Pakistan responded with 579 of their own during the match which recorded seven centuries over the five days.

Even PCB’s chairman Ramiz Raja called the wicket “embarrassing” and termed the contest “not a good advert for Test cricket”.

Despite the furore around the playing surface, England managed to squeeze out a 74-run win just minutes away from the game ending in a draw.

This is not the first time that a Rawalpindi pitch has received a demerit point in 2022.

In March, during the first test between Australia and Pakistan, the wicket was also given a “below average” rating by match referee Ranjan Madugalle after the two sides scored 1187 runs for the loss of just 14 wickets over five days.

What does another demerit point mean for Rawalpindi Pitch:

A “below average” rating earns a venue one demerit point, while “poor” and “unfit” ratings earn three and five demerit points, respectively.

By this scale, Rawalpindi now has accumulated two after successive tests.

Demerit points remain active for a five-year rolling period, and a venue is suspended from hosting international cricket for a period of five years if it accumulates five demerit points.

Rawalpindi, as a result, has very little wiggle room left if it wants to continue hosting international fixtures.