ICC elite match referee Ritchie Richardson has determined that the pitch used for the first Test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba was not good enough.
The Baggy Greens won the contest within two days after bowling the Proteas out for 152 and 99. However, Australia only ended up winning by six wickets after being all out for 218 in their first innings and struggling their way to 35-4 to win the game.
Richardson’s report found the pitch to be below average and could not provide an even contest between bat and ball as conditions so heavily favoured the bowlers.
As a result, the Gabba has been handed one demerit point. Under ICC regulations, any ground that receives five demerits within a five-year period will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a full year.
“Overall, the Gabba pitch for this Test match was too much in favour of the bowlers. There was extra bounce and occasional excessive seam movement,” said Richardson.
“The odd delivery also kept low on the second day, making it very difficult for batters to build partnerships.
“I found the pitch to be ‘below average’ as per the ICC guidelines since it was not an even contest between bat and ball.”