Pindi Cricket Stadium's demerit point revoked by the ICC following successful appeal 

Pakistan v England - First Test Match: Day Five
Pitches produced by the Pindi Cricket Stadium have been under scanner lately

The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) appeal against the International Cricket Council's (ICC) "below average" pitch rating for the Pindi Cricket Stadium has been successful. The demerit point, which was awarded to the venue for the pitch prepared for the first Test between England and Pakistan in December 2022 has been removed from the record.

Rawalpindi's pitch once again claimed the spotlight after the two sides produced a high-scoring contest to kickstart the Test series. Earlier in 2022, the venue was lambasted for producing a lifeless track for the first Test between Australia and Pakistan, which ended in a high-scoring draw.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi, appealed to the ICC in accordance with their ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, in order to get the demerit point awarded by match referee Andy Pycroft rescinded.

The venue was at risk of being awarded a year-long ban had it accumulated five demerit points in a five-year rolling cycle.

Following a review, the ICC appeal panel, consisting of the ICC General Manager – Cricket and Chair of the ICC Men’s Cricket Committee, came to a unanimous decision to revoke the demerit point. The ICC released a statement that read:

"While the guidelines had been followed by the Match Referee in accordance with Appendix A of the Pitch Monitoring Process, 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. As such, the appeal panel concluded that the wicket did not warrant the “below average” rating."

Former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja mentioned over the course of the first Test that the state of the Rawalpindi pitch was poor and embarrassing, considering that the authority in charge was a former cricketer.

England won a thrilling contest over Pakistan in Rawalpindi on the back of a brave declaration

The very first day of the tour was rife with records as England amassed 506 runs with the loss of only four wickets at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. The exceptional rate of scoring coupled with the bowlers' struggles to claim wickets brought the pitch into the spotlight straightaway.

While Pakistan also scored heavily in their first innings, it took a bold declaration from Ben Stokes to get a positive result out of the fixture. The Men in Green fell short by 74 runs to give the visitors an early series lead, which they ended up converting to 3-0.

Have the ICC made the right decision by withdrawing the awarded demerit point? Let us know what you think.

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Edited by Ankush Das