The Wanderers Stadium, which hosted the third India-South Africa Test, has received three demerit points for a pitch rated as “poor”, the International Cricket Council informed on Tuesday.

“The demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period and if during this five-year period the Wanderers Stadium reaches the threshold of five demerit points, then it will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 12 months,” a statement by the ICC stated.

The decision was taken by Andy Pycroft of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, the statement added.

“The pitch prepared for the final Test was a poor one. It had excessively steep and unpredictable bounce, and excessive seam movement,” Pycroft wrote.

“It deteriorated quickly as the match progressed, which made batting extremely difficult and hazardous, resulting in the medical staff from both the sides having to come onto the field of play multiple times to treat their batsmen.

“As the on-field umpires are also responsible for the players’ safety, they expressed concerns about the behavior of the pitch, and debated after day three if it was appropriate to continue the match.

“In the end, the umpires made the decision to continue and the Test reached its natural conclusion on day four. However, there was still excessive variable bounce and seam movement when the Test match ended.”

India came back from behind to win the Test by 63 runs that saw 40 wickets fall for 805 runs in almost 296 overs. South Africa opener Dean Elgar with an unbeaten 86 was the top-scorer in the match.

‘Not worth the risk’

Elgar had said it was not worth the risk and the third and final Test against India should have been called off on the third day itself.

Elgar took a nasty blow on his helmet in the ninth over of South Africa’s second innings which forced early stumps on day three but the match resumed next day after deliberations between the captains and match officials.

“I do think (it should have been called off earlier). On day three, the wicket didn’t play great. Batters got hit a hell of a lot of times. If there was a period to call it off, it was sooner,” Elgar said after the match.

Referring to Philip Hughes’ death in November 2014 due to a head blow, Elgar said: “We had an incident of being hit in the head, where we could have had an incident of what happened in Australia. People want to watch Test cricket but we are also human beings.

“We are not just going to take blows and accept putting our bodies on the line. The situation could have been addressed sooner,” he said.