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ICC classifies MCG pitch as ‘poor’ after drawn Ashes test

ICC classifies MCG pitch as ‘poor’ after drawn Ashes test
January 3, 2018

The Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch for the fourth Ashes test has been rated "poor" by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after last week's drawn clash between hosts Australia and England.

The widely condemned pitch, on which only 24 wickets fell over five days, drew criticism from both competing teams.

It is the first time an Australian Test pitch has suffered the ignominy of being dubbed poor by cricket's global governing body.

Reflecting the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch, match referee Ranjan Madugalle said in his report to the ICC that the “the bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed.

"The nature of the pitch did not change over the five days and there was no natural deterioration.

"As such, the pitch did not allow an even contest between the bat and the ball as it neither favoured the batsmen too much nor it gave the bowlers sufficient opportunity to take wickets."

Cricket Australia has two weeks to respond to the report, the sport's governing body said in a statement.

The ICC's final punishment could range from a formal warning for Cricket Australia to a fine of US$15,000 ($19,000).

Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said body will strive to avoid a repeat and discuss the matter with the administrators of the ground.

Sutherland stated "such a rating is extremely disappointing for all involved.

"We work closely with all our venues to encourage the best possible international cricket playing environment.

"We'll be taking on board advice from the ICC, players and relevant experts to work with the Melbourne Cricket Club to ensure this rating is not repeated."

The MCG test was the last to be rated under the ICC's pitch and outfield monitoring process, with a revision of the process set to come into effect from Thursday.

Under the new process, if a pitch or outfield is rated as being substandard, that venue will be allocated a number of demerit points, which will be active for a five-year period.

Venues will be suspended for a year if they receive five points in a five-year period, or for two years if they accrue 10 points.

The Melbourne Cricket Club has already confirmed is the subject of a review. 

A new Head Curator, Matthew Page, is set to take over at the MCG in the coming days. He replaces Mathew Gordon who left after the AFL Grand Final.

27th November 2017 - MCG SECURES NEW HEAD CURATOR FROM THE WACA

25th November 2017 - ASHES SERIES TO DELIVER AUSTRALIAN TOURISM BOOST 

11th August 2017 - MCG SEEKS NEW HEAD GROUNDSMAN AFTER DEPARTURE OF TONY GORDON 

5th May 2017 - AUSTRALIA’S MULTI-USE STADIA NEED BETTER PLAYING SURFACES

22nd March 2017 - MCG SET TO BREAK CROWD ATTENDANCE RECORDS

8th September 2016 - MCG CALLS ON AFL FANS TO HELP MAKE WI-FI HISTORY

28th March 2015  - MCG SET FOR BATTLE AGAINST THE CLOCK

17th September 2013 - RESPECTED FORMER SCG AND MCG CURATOR DIES


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