The outfield of the Shere Bangla National Stadium has been rated as ‘poor’ by the ICC match referee Jeff Crowe who oversaw the first Test between Bangladesh and Australia played last month. Bangladesh went on to win the Test in their first win over Australia in the longest format of the game by 20 runs. Crowe in accordance with Clause 3 of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process expressed concern over the quality of the outfield in his report to the ICC.
The report has since been forwarded to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) which now has 14 days to respond to ICC. Their response will be viewed by ICC’s General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and Ranjan Madugalle from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury shared where Crowe found a problem and expressed the reasoning as well. “The grass was their main concern and we understand why they found it to be poor,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo . “The weather this year was the worst in the last decade, but the groundstaff gave it their best.”
The Test was played in Bangladesh’s off season with temperatures touching 40 degrees under severe humidity, it made the groundstaff’s job even more difficult. The team had been working on the outfield ever since the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with the outfield being taken off completely and the surface being relaid. The report further claims there were serious concerns over the outfield that it was considered to be moved elsewhere. Even one day before the game, Crowe had long discussions with stadium’s curator and other staff members. Reportedly, the ground wasn’t handed over to the match referee in time either.
With this being Mirpur’s first mistake, the matter will be dealt by Claus 4 of the process with a warning being issued and/or a fine not exceeding $15,000 together with “a directive for appropriate corrective action”.