Bipin Dani Sports
Former ICC match referee Mike Procter has endorsed the ICC’s decision of rating the Wanderers pitch poor.
The pitch on which India won the 3rd and last Test against South Africa was under severe criticism. Speaking exclusively over telephone from South Africa, the former fast bowler said, “the pitch was poor by any standards. However, it did not play too badly on day 1 and it really only deteriorated badly on the 3rd day”. “The peculiar aspect is that the pitch played better on day 4”. . “I do not think the BCCI were under any pressure as they know the correct decision would be made in the best interest of the game of cricket”. He also added, “the ICC match officials were not unde any BCCI influence to continue with the game on the fifth day”, he further added.
The MCC (Custodian of the laws of the game) insists there is nothing in the Laws of Cricket about repairing the pitch. The ICC has its own conditions. It is an ICC condition, not an MCC law”, Jonny Singer, the Laws of Cricket Advisor, MCC, said.
However, India’s former umpire MR Singh has something else to say on this.
“Don’t know about a Test Match. But me and my colleague once, in a Ranji match (Karnataka Vs Hyderabad) when faced with a pitch scraped with a rod and with diesel oil poured on it, at both ends, decided pitch was unfit for play and so informed the Captains”.
“But seeing we could do something, told captains if they permitted repairs, we would attempt it and allow them to decide after if they still wanted to play. They did permit repairs and decided to play. We carried on play after losing about 90 minutes. The dark patches of diesel oil remained but there was no irregular ball behaviour and the match was played to the end. I think Vijay Mohan Raj scored a hundred, too.All biggies were playing, Vishi, Brijesh, JayPrakash, Raghuram, Arshad, Vijay Mohan Raj etc.”“It was a memorable game”, the umpire, who officiated in six ODIs’ says.