Tim Paine slams 'absolutely disgraceful' SCG pitch for Sheffield Shield match

" That's embarrassing. The ball was seaming sideways, it was going up and down, it wasn't fit for first-class cricket," said Paine.

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Tim Paine
Tim Paine (Photo Source: Twitter)

Tim Paine, the former Australia skipper, heavily criticized the SCG pitch used for the Sheffield Shield clash between New South Wales and Tasmania, labeling it an "absolute disgrace." The match witnessed a staggering 24 dismissals on the third day, with Tasmania bundled out for a mere 68. Despite the debacle, optimism persists regarding the pitch quality for upcoming games, notably the New Year's Test against Pakistan.

Within a mere 63 overs bowled on Thursday, the cricket ground echoed with the sound of falling wickets, as batters grappled with severe seam movement and erratic bounce. Despite the home team losing nine wickets for just 55 runs in their second innings, Tasmania fell significantly short in their pursuit of 143. Paine emphasized the pressing need for an improved pitch, citing the ball's unpredictable sideways and uneven trajectory, deeming the wicket unsuitable for top-tier cricket.

"That wicket was absolute disgrace. This a Test venue in the strongest state in the country, and they rolled that up. That's embarrassing. The ball was seaming sideways, it was going up and down, it wasn't fit for first-class cricket. That was a disgraceful wicket. I haven't spoken to people, but you could see it on the screen it had those cracks where it's like got grass over it. You don't even see that in club cricket," Paine told SEN Tassie.

SCG pitch under experiment before New Year’s Test against Pakistan

In this season at the SCG, newer strains of grass are being experimented with; the Shield pitches feature a distinct type compared to the one set for the Pakistan Test in January. Assurances are in place regarding the upcoming Test pitch quality, crucially set to mark David Warner's departure from the format. This significant match is slated to take place on a pitch utilized for televised games, adding to its prominence in the cricketing calendar.

Before the Test match, the SCG is set to host three BBL encounters featuring teams like Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Renegades on December 8, Adelaide Strikers on December 22, and Melbourne Stars on December 26. Yet, there is a review pending for certain aspects of pitch readiness. Factors like the recent WBBL double-header on November 26 and inclement weather might influence these preparations, warranting a re-evaluation for optimal conditions.

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