MCG pitch rated poor by ICC

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Published by : CT WEB 2018-01-03 09:50:13

The Melbourne Cricket Ground track for the fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England has been rated poor by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday (2 January). Cricket Australia now has two weeks to respond.

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

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."This will be the last instance of a venue being reviewed under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. The governing body is set to introduce new process from 4 January. Under the new process, if a venue does not satisfy the requirements, it will be allocated demerit points. The demerit points will stay active 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. "When a venue accumulates five demerit points, it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months, while a venue will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 24 months when it reaches the threshold of 10 demerit points."

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