Match referee Madugalle said the pitch did not offer an even contest between bat and ball
“The character of the pitch hardly changed over the course of five days and that there has been no deterioration apart from the bounce getting slightly lower,” Madugalle said in his report. “The pitch did not have a great deal of pace and bounce in it for the seamers nor assisted the spinners as the match progressed. “In my view this does not represent an even contest between bat and ball. Therefore, in keeping with the ICC guidelines I rate this pitch as below average.”
“We note and accept the ICC’s decision,” a PCB spokesperson said. “This is the first time any Pakistan venue has received a demerit point. The PCB wants to see and prepare pitches that provide even and exciting contest between the bat and the ball. In this regard and in line with the PCB Chairman’s vision, a massive project to overhaul and relay all pitches in Pakistan is already underway.
“The PCB remains confident and optimistic that we will not only see good contests in the Karachi and Lahore Tests but in all future domestic international matches as well.”
According to the laws, “when a venue accumulates five demerit points (or crosses that threshold), it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months, while a venue will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 24 months when it reaches the threshold of 10 demerit points.” Demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period.
The three-Test series is part of the World Test Championship, with the second match set to begin on March 12 in Karachi and the third one on March 21 in Lahore.