The first match of the Australia tour to Pakistan turned out to be anti-climatic. The fans and the players were excited to see Australia in Pakistan after 24 years, but the first match of the series turned out to be very dull. Many critics blamed the pitch for being too friendly for the batters.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hopeful that the cricket’s governing body will not take any action or rate it poor for the Test format. As per the reports, the ICC match referee for the game Ranjan Madugalle has the authority to report against the pitch for not being up to the standards of the Test norms. If the pitch is declared bad by the match referee, the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium would suffer three demerit points under ICC rules. Any venue that accumulates five demerit points in five years is barred from hosting international cricket for a year.
Hindustan Times reported a PCB source saying, â€œThe ICC takes notices when a pitch is deemed dangerous and unfit for Test cricketâ€
Australia’s Steve Smith termed the Rawalpindi pitch as ‘dead.’ According to ICC criteria, a Test wicket should have seam, bounce, spin, and carry at various phases to provide an equal battle for batters and bowlers, with the bowlers slightly favoured.
Meanwhile, the match saw close to 1200 runs and just 14 wickets in the five days. Both the teams scored more than 450 runs in the first innings, which was prolonged to the final day. The Babar Azam-led Pakistan then played through day 5. Australia did not get a chance to bat again and the match ended in a draw.