ICC rates the MCG pitch as poor, awaits Cricket Australia’s response

ICC rates the MCG pitch as poor, awaits Cricket Australia’s response

Cricket Australia now has two weeks to respond to ICC on why the wicket was flat and unresponsive.

MCG
Steve Smith of Australia and bowler Stuart Broad of England look on as the groundsman tries to flatten the bowlers foot marks. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The pitch used for the first fourth Ashes Test between England Australia at Melbourne has come under fire from the International Cricket Council (ICC). Only 24 wickets fell in the match that eventually ended in a draw. Cricket Australia now has two weeks to respond to ICC on why the wicket was flat and unresponsive. The hosts lost only two wickets on the final day as the wicket continued to favour the batsmen and captain Steve Smith registered yet another century.

Medium bounce on the pitch

“The bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed,” Ranjan Madugalle, the match referee for the Test, said in a statement issued by the ICC today. “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.”

New rules to be introduced for pitch reviews

This was the last time that a pitch was reviewed by the ICC and the concerned team was asked to submit their response to be probe. From January 4, a new set of rules are to be introduced, wherein a venue which is rated poor for its pitch will be given demerit points that will not expire for a period of five years.

“One demerit point will be awarded to venues whose pitches are rated by the match referees as below average, while three and five demerit points will be awarded to venues whose pitches are marked as poor and unfit, respectively,” the ICC said in a release.

The fifth Test, also a dead rubber, will be hosted at the Sydney Cricket Ground from 4th January. Australia lead 3-0 in the series after the fourth Test in Melbourne was a draw.

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