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ICC demands answers on 'poor' Test pitches in Durban and Port of Spain

Sky Sports Sky Sports 24/08/2016

The umpires and ground staff inspect the Durban playing surface on the fourth day of the Black Caps' first Test against South Africa. © REUTERS/Rogan Ward The umpires and ground staff inspect the Durban playing surface on the fourth day of the Black Caps' first Test against South Africa. The outfields for the rain-ruined Tests between the West Indies and India, and South Africa and New Zealand, have been rated "poor" by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

South Africa and New Zealand set the seal on a draw in Durban on Tuesday, though no play had been possible since lunch on Saturday as further heavy rain that night wiped out the remainder of the first Test.

The situation in Port of Spain was even worse, as only 22 overs of the West Indies' first innings were possible before a heavy storm.

The frustration in both cases came from the fact play could not resume despite warm, sunny conditions on the subsequent days, with areas of the playing surfaces failing to dry out sufficiently.

An ICC statement on Wednesday read: "The International Cricket Council today announced that the outfields at Kingsmead, Durban, and Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, have been rated as 'poor' by the match referees.

"Andy Pycroft and Ranjan Madugalle, both from the Emirates elite panel of ICC match referees, in accordance with clause 3 of the ICC pitch and outfield monitoring process, submitted their reports to the ICC in which they expressed their concerns over the quality of the outfields for the first Test between South Africa and New Zealand, and the fourth Test between the West Indies and India, respectively.

"The reports have been forwarded to Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), who now have 14 days to provide their responses.

"The CSA's response will be reviewed by ICC's general manager - cricket, Geoff Allardice, and Mr Madugalle, while Mr Allardice and David Boon, also from the Emirates elite panel of ICC match referees, will assess the WICB's reply. Both the matters will be decided in accordance with clause 4 of the process."

<p>The Port of Spain pitch has come under scrutiny since the final Test between West Indies and India.</p> © Provided by BSkyB

The Port of Spain pitch has come under scrutiny since the final Test between West Indies and India.

This is the first occasion on which either Kingsmead or the Queen's Park Oval have been rated "poor", meaning that under clause 4.1 of the monitoring process, the sanction will be a warning and/or a fine of up to 15,000 US dollars along with a "directive for appropriate corrective action".

A second or subsequent occasion inside five years would carry a fine of 30,000 US dollars (£22,700).

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