Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been given one demerit point for the Antigua pitch that hosted the second Test of the Wisden series between the Windies and England.
Guardian Media Sports understands that match referee Jeff Crowe has informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) that the pitch was 'below average' and as such they have given the ground one demerit point. It means that within the next five period, the venue must stay away from getting another four demerit points, as five points over a five-year period will mean that the pitch will get a one-year suspension as a Test venue.
Pitches deemed to be 'unfit' are given five demerit points, 'poor' pitches are given three points and 'below average' strips are given one demerit point. Any ground which receives five demerit points over a five-year period will be banned from hosting internationals for 12 months. They can be banned for two years if they receive 10.
Although the Windies won the second Test match to take away the Wisden Trophy 2-0, players from both teams mentioned in interviews that the pitch was not easy to play on.
Some balls were climbing alarmingly, while others were keeping very low which was disconcerting for the batsmen. A number of them were wearing badges from hits to the person.
England was bowled out for 187 and 108, while the Windies made 306 and 17 without loss.
Back in 2009, the first Test match at this venue was called off after only 10 deliveries because of an unfit outfield. The sand base outfield made running in for the fast bowlers very difficult and the umpires called off the Test match. The authorities in Antigua then had one year to sort out the outfield, which they did and international cricket has been played at the venue ever since.