The powerhouse that is Indian cricket flexed its muscles last month by successfully appealing the ICC’s initial rating of the pitch used at Indore for the third test between Australia and India.
The test was over in less than seven sessions, with India posting their sixth lowest score in a first innings.
Match referee Chris Broad noting after the fifth ball of the match, the pitch deteriorated rapidly.
“The pitch, which was very dry, did not provide a balance between bat and ball, favouring spinners from the start.
“The fifth ball of the match broke through the pitch surface and continued to occasionally break the surface providing little or no seam movement and there was excessive and uneven bounce throughout the match,” Broad said.
However, despite the pitch initially being rated poor by the ICC, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) successfully challenged the ICC’s decision, altering the rating from poor to below average.
There are six different ratings the match referee will deliver after a match – very good, good, average, below average, poor and unfit.
By successfully appealing Indore’s poor rating, the venue will only receive one demerit point as opposed to the three they would have received had the poor rating been upheld.
If a venue accumulates five or more demerit points over a five-year period, the venue will receive a one-year suspension where they cannot host international cricket.
As such, decorated sports journalist, Gerard Whatealy feels the ICC has kowtowed to Indian cricket.
“The third Test pitch, if that’s not poor, I don’t know what would be,” Whatealy said on SEN’s Mornings.
Whatealy believes the initial decision should have been upheld but was not due to the financial strength of the BCCI.
“We’re not even pretending anymore.
“We know where the power in cricket lies, and maybe it should given all of the financial clout that India has.
“But when you can’t even sustain something that was completely self-evident which was a poor pitch in Indore.
“When you get what can only be regarded as kowtowing, that’s the moment where you go, ‘they’re not even pretending anymore’,” Whatealy said.
The BCCI is the wealthiest cricket council in the world with a net worth of 2.25 billion dollars (AUD).
Indore is currently being used as a venue in the current IPL competition and is in contention to be used in India’s next test series against England.