Dubai, Dec 21: Not convinced by BCCI's defence, the International Cricket Council today issued an "official warning" to the Jamtha Stadium administration in Nagpur for preparing a pitch that was ruled poor by the match referee after the third Test between India and South Africa.
Incidentally, Jamtha, which saw ample turn form day one itself, is the home ground of ICC chairman and BCCI president Shashank Manohar.
"The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur has been given an official warning under the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process following the third Test between India and South Africa," the game's apex body said in a statement, "The sanction took into consideration the fact that there had been no concerns about the performance of the pitch after any of the other international matches played at this venue."
In reaching the verdict, the ICC agreed with the poor rating given to the pitch by Jeff Crowe, the match referee for the Test that got over in under three days last month.
Crowe had observed that the pitch did not allow a fair contest between bat and the ball. The finding was made by ICC General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and ICC chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, after watching footage of the match, reviewing the post-match reports from Crowe, and considering the response provided by the BCCI.
In a major embarrassment for the BCCI, the ICC had earlier this month rated the track at Nagpur, which hosted the third Test between India and South Africa, as poor, triggering a review of the performance of the pitch under the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process.
In accordance with Clause 3 of the Process, ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe submitted his report to the ICC expressing the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch.
The Nagpur pitch received flak from many former cricketers, including Australia's Matthew Hayden, England's Michael Vaughan, and a host of others.
However, Indian captain Virat Kohli and team director Ravi Shastri had strongly defended the pitch, saying that there was nothing wrong with the track.