MCG receives official warning for ‘poor’ pitch CricBuzz Live
Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Fri, 12 Jan, 2018, 11:54 AM
Groundsman tries to flatten the bowlers foot marks on the MCG pitch on Day 1. © Getty
The Melbourne Cricket Ground has received an official warning from the International Cricket Council after its pitch was rated as ‘poor’ after the Australia-England Boxing Day Ashes Test. The sanction comes after ICC reviewed Cricket Australia’s response.
“In arriving at the sanction, the ICC noted the comprehensive response provided by Cricket Australia, which did not contest the rating given to the pitch by the ICC Match Referee, Ranjan Madugalle, but highlighted that the ground is a frequently used venue that has no history of preparing poor pitches for international cricket, and indicated that there was a commitment by both the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and Cricket Australia to improve the pitches presented for international cricket at the MCG in the future,” the ICC said in a release.
The flat and unresponsive wicket drew a torrent of criticism during the batting-friendly draw. The hosts lost just two wickets in more than 80 overs on the final day as the wicket continued to be a batting paradise. “It didn’t change for five days and I would say that if it was played on for the next couple of days it probably wouldn’t change either. It needs to find a way to have pace and bounce or spin. We saw some reverse swing but the ball gets soft and doesn’t carry,” Steve Smith had said.
“I don’t mind if they (the wickets) are flat but they need to have pace and carry. This wicket had none of that, it just skids. The ‘keeper and slips were standing so close. I don’t think it’s good for anyone.”