Dubai, Oct 9(ANI): The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) an official warning for preparing a poor quality pitch in Galle for the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia, which was played from August 31 to September 4.
It has also directed that ICC's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson will carry out an inspection of the square at the end of this month, and make recommendations on any corrective action that may be required.
SLC, in turn, is to submit a report to the ICC confirming that the corrective actions, as advised by Atkinson, had been carried out prior to the staging of the next international match at the venue.
The ICC decision is given under the provisions of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, which was introduced in 2006 to ensure that international cricket is played in conditions of a suitably high standard.
Earlier, Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees had submitted a report to the ICC, expressing his concerns over the quality of Galle's pitch prepared for the match, which Australia won by 125 runs.
Detailing the decision, ICC's General Manager - Cricket, David Richardson, said: "We have come to a decision that the pitch prepared for the match should be rated as 'poor'.
"It was clear from the video footage of the match that the amount of turn, especially early in the match, was excessive and there were occasions (even on the first day) where the ball went through the surface of the pitch, bouncing unusually steeply from a good length," he said.
Whilst it is understandable and acceptable for a pitch to deteriorate over the course of the match, for a pitch to exhibit this type of behaviour at relatively early stages of the match was not acceptable, he said, adding that the pitch was just too heavily weighted in favour of the bowler.
"However, taking into account that it was the first time that a pitch at Galle has been rated as "poor" and given the intention of the curator to prepare a pitch that provided a fair balance between bat and ball, we have decided to impose a warning as the sanction," Richardson said. (ANI)