Home > Features >

Trent Bridge given official warning: justice served, finally

David Boon, the match referee for the Trent Bridge submitted his report to ICC © Getty Images
David Boon, the match referee for the Trent Bridge Test, submitted his report to ICC about this controversial pitch © Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued an official warning to Trent Bridge, the venue of the first Test between England and India. Abhishek Mukherjee explains why the verdict is justified.

David Boon, the match referee for the Trent Bridge Test between India and England, had issued a report; based on it, the ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice and the chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle have passed a simple yet strong warning to the historic ground: “The monitoring of the pitch preparation by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) before the Test was appropriate.”

Finally, on one of those rare occasions, justice has been served; on many an occasion the pitch has been blamed for being supportive to the bowlers; wickets in New Zealand have been criticised for having too much grass, as have been pitches at Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) or Kensington Oval or Sabina Park for their notorious bounce.

Teams in the subcontinent have perhaps taken the worse flak: the way pitches have been criticised for turning square early in the Test and the balls spitting and bouncing from spots on “dustbowls” with hawks prowling around the bat with in absolute concentration, waiting to gobble up every possible opportunity.

It was ridiculous, the way pitches producing quick results have been classified as poor, even wretched; for whatever reason, flat tracks have almost never had to bear the brunt (the only exceptions being the cricket fans repelled by matches that became pointless by the time the Test reached Day Five.)

The last occasion when a Test was drawn without any fourth innings was between Bangladesh and New Zealand at Mirpur in October 2013, but the final day was rained off; to find the last Test where a match had been played on all five days but had never reached the fourth innings one needs to go back to the Nagpur Test of December 2012, where England had scored 330 and 352 for four and India 326. The scenario, however, was different: England needed to draw the Test to win a series on Indian soil after a 27-year long gap.

Trent Bridge was different: both no. 11s scored hundreds; both last-wicket partnerships added hundreds; a number nine scored two fifties; several records tumbled; there were 12 fifty-plus scores; and barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar few managed any kind of purchase from the track. India were in a spot of bother at 184 for six (they had conceded a 39-run lead in the first innings), but fifties from Stuart Binny and Bhuvneshwar had ensured a comfortable draw.

In other words, the conditions were heavily loaded towards batsmen; it has taken ICC some time to come out with the overdue verdict, but finally a pitch has been called “poor” on the ground that it was too flat and batsman-friendly.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis wants fielding standards to improve

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Quinton de Kock ruled out of series with ankle injury

Eoin Morgan replaces Alastair Cook as ODI captain

South Africa rout West Indies by an innings and 220 runs in 1st Test at Centurion

Saeed Ajmal’s return to cometitive cricket impresses Pakistan national selector

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of ten for the hosts

Alastair Cook Spoilt his own ODI stew

Indian batsmen outdone by Australian bowlers and umpiring howlers

New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Marks out of 10 for Kiwis

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail tales

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here