ICC rates Melbourne pitch as poor after the drawn fourth Ashes Test

Players and commentators criticized the lifeless drop-in pitch used for the Boxing Day test between Australia and England.

Published: 02nd January 2018 01:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2018 01:46 PM   |  A+A-

Lights are on as ground staff cover the pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as rain delays the fourth day of the Ashes cricket test match between England and Australia in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. | AP

By Associated Press

MELBOURNE: The ICC has given the Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch a poor rating for last week's drawn Ashes test, giving Cricket Australia two weeks to respond to the criticism before determining a sanction.

Players and commentators criticized the lifeless drop-in pitch used for the Boxing Day test between Australia and England in Melbourne, and International Cricket Council match referee Ranjan Madugalle followed up in his official report to the sport's governing body when he gave it a poor rating.

It was the first Australian test venue to be rated with such a low rating.

Under existing rules, the ICC sanction can range from an official warning to a fine. But under regulations set to come into effect on Thursday, pitches officially rated as poor or unfit will be given demerit points which could ultimately lead to suspensions.

The ICC also rated the Indian venue Pune as poor last year after Australia's victory there over India.

The MCG is one of the sport's most iconic venues, becoming a test fixture for the annual Boxing Day test in Australia and having hosted the most recent World Cup final.

The opening day of the test drew more than 88,000 spectators last week, despite Australia having already clinched the five-match series with victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

But in his report, Madugalle outlined the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch on which Australia scored 327 and 263-4 declared, and England scoring 491 in its only innings.

"The bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed," Madugalle said in the report.

"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 favored the batsmen too much nor it gave the bowlers sufficient opportunity to take wickets."

Stay up to date on all the latest Cricket news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp