In what could be termed as a setback for Pakistan Cricket, the match referee has given a demerit point to the Rawalpindi dead rubber that had nothing for the bowlers. A total of 1187 runs were scored in five days with the loss of only 14 wickets. Pakistan scored close to 500 runs in the first innings for the loss of 4 wickets only and scored 252 runs without losing any wicket.
The Match referee was Rajan Madugale, who stated in his report, “The character of the pitch hardly changed over the course of five days”
According to the ICC rules, a venue is banned from hosting any international cricket if it accumulates 5 points in 5 years. The points remain active for five years from the date of allotment.
The Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman had earlier acknowledged the criticism due to the subpar nature of the Rawalpindi pitch and said that the procedure for overhauling the conditions of the pitch is already underway which will take some months.
This is also the first time that a Pakistani venue has accumulated a demerit point. Fans were livid on social media as they were expecting a close contest between two high-profile teams. Many former greats of Pakistan such as Inzamam, Afridi, and Danish Kaneria also criticized the management and Pakistan team for such a dead rubber which had nothing for the bowlers. Australia is touring Pakistan after 24 years for three tests, 3 ODIs, and a lone T20.
The second test match will start on the 12th of March and there is a strong likelihood that the pitch will heavily assist the spinners. Ramiz Raja earlier had hinted that they are unlikely to produce a lively pitch for the touring side keeping in view of the talent, skills, and current form where they demolished the England side at home.