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ICC says it will probe Kanpur Test wicket
Apr 16, 2008
AFP
South African captain Graeme Smith looks at the pitch during a training session at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur on April 10, 2008. The International Cricket Council is investigating the wicket used in the final Test between India and South Africa in Kanpur, which was criticised following the tourists' collapse, a top official said on Wednesday.
©AFP/File - Raveendran

MUMBAI (AFP) - The International Cricket Council is investigating the wicket used in the final Test between India and South Africa in Kanpur, which was criticised following the tourists' collapse, a top official said on Wednesday.

The dry, dusty pitch at the Green Park, described by South African coach Mickey Arthur as "a poor cricket wicket", saw India win the match in three days on Sunday to draw the series 1-1.

Match referee Roshan Mahanama described it as sub-standard in his post-match report, forcing the International Cricket Council (ICC) to demand an explanation from the Indian cricket board.

"I can confirm the Kanpur wicket was reported by the match referee," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed told reporters during a brief visit to Mumbai.

The ICC could, as a last resort, ban Kanpur as a Test venue if it does not receive a convincing reply from the Indian board.

South Africa, batting first after winning the toss, scored 265 and India replied with 325.

The tourists were shot out for 121 in 55.5 overs in their second innings, with captain Graeme Smith's 35 the top score.

India lost two wickets chasing 62 for victory, but levelled the series.

They had been behind after being thrashed inside three days in the second Test at Ahmedabad.

India's Ishant Sharma (L) watches as South Africa's Hashim Amla falls on the pitch during the third Test at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur on April 11, 2008. The International Cricket Council is investigating the wicket used in the final Test between India and South Africa in Kanpur, which was criticised following the tourists' collapse, a top official said on Wednesday.
©AFP/File - Raveendran

"There was always something happening on the wicket," said Arthur after the match. "It was behaving like a fifth day pitch on the second day. It was a poor cricket wicket."

Arthur also slammed the poor cricketing and hotel facilities in Kanpur, but stressed South Africa did not lodge a complaint.

"We are a major cricketing power, so we should get good venues and facilities," he said. "But Kanpur, to our disappointment, was way below par in everything.

"It was a poor cricket wicket, though I can understand the reason behind it. But the practice facilities and the accommodation left a lot to be desired for an international venue."

 
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