Cric Buzz: Trent Bridge pitch rated 'poor' by ICC match referee
Criticised by all quarters, the Trent Bridge pitch, on which India and England played out a dull draw in their opening Test, was declared "poor" by ICC match referee David Boon and ECB could be penalised for it pending an investigation.
In accordance with Clause 3 of the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process, Boon submitted his report to the ICC expressing his concerns over the quality of the pitch. This report has been forwarded to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which now has 14 days to provide its response.
After the ECB has submitted its response, ICC's General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and the ICC's chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, will consider all the evidence, including studying video footage of the match, before reaching their decision on whether or not the pitch was poor and if so, if a penalty should be imposed in accordance with Clause 4 of the ICC Pitch Monitoring Process.
The ICC will make no further comments until Allardice and Madugalle have reached their decision.
The Trent Bridge Test was played from July 9 to 13 in which India scored 457 and 391-9dec, while England totalled 496 in its only innings.
England skipper Alastair Cook had criticised the Trent Bridge pitch after his bowlers toiled hard for five days of the Nottingham Test to force a stalemate.
Nottinghamshire head groundsman Steve Birks also apologised for producing a pitch which suited India.
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Image: Alastair Cook looks at the pitch
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images
South Africa's Philander fined for ball-tampering
South African pace bowler Vernon Philander has been fined 75 percent of his match fee for tampering with the ball during the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka.
"The incident that led to the charge being laid took place in the afternoon when Philander was captured on footage changing the condition of the ball by scratching the surface with his fingers and thumb," said an International Cricket Council statement.
"The penalty was accepted by Philander without contest so there was no need for a hearing."
Philander is the second South Africa player to be fined for the offence in the last year after his team mate Faf du Plessis was found guilty of using the zip in his trousers to mark the ball during a Test against Pakistan last October.
Philander finished with figures of 0-31 on Friday as a five wicket haul from his fellow paceman Dale Steyn reduced Sri Lanka to 283-9 in their pursuit of South Africa's first innings 455-9 declared.
Image: Vernon Philander
Photographs: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
Flower vows to make Pakistan batsmen more consistent
Pakistan's new batting coach Grant Flower has termed his new assignment as the biggest challenge of his coaching career and is hopeful of making the batsmen more consistent.
The former Zimbabwe batsman told reporters in Lahore that he took up the assignment only because he believed he could make a difference to the Pakistan team known for their unpredictability.
"It is the biggest challenge of my coaching career coming to a different environment and working with players with a different cricketing approach. What attracted me to the job was the immense talent these players possess and how much they can improve," Flower said.
The younger brother of former Test batsman Andy Flower, who coached England with considerable success, said his main job would be to ready the Pakistani players for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.
"These players are used to working with foreign coaches so communication will not be a problem. I just feel these players can do much more with their talent," he said.
Flower said some of the players threw away good starts and he wanted to change that.
"Bringing consistency and discipline to their batting is my primary task."
The former batsman who played 67 Tests and 221 One-Day Internationals admitted he had some apprehensions after the terror attack at the Karachi airport last month.
"They were apprehensions but (former Pakistan spinner) Mushtaq (Ahmed) spoke to Andy and myself and the Pakistan board was also in touch with me and I was comfortable coming here."
Image: Grant Flower
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images