DUBAI: The pitch in Brisbane that was used during the first Test between Australia and South Africa has received a ‘below average’ rating from the ICC. Australia won the Test match by six wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series, but the pitch at the Gabba came severely under fire. A green top, the contest between the two sides was over under two days, with 34 wickets falling in this duration. The pitch was criticised by many, including South Africa skipper Dean Elgar, who said, “I don’t think that was a very good Test wicket.” Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees member Richie Richardson has now released his report for the pitch, deeming it as ‘below average’. World Test Championship: How your team can reach the final. His prognosis read, “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. 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,” he added. Due to the ‘below average’ rating, the venue has received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield monitoring process. Demerit points remain active for a rolling five-year period and when a venue accumulates five demerit points it is suspended from staging any international cricket for a period of 12 months.