The pitch used in the 4th Test of the Ashes series played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has been rated as poor by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Test match ended in a draw and there was hardly any assistance for the bowlers throughout the 5 days. Cricket Australia has been asked to respond within 2 weeks.
The batsmen were on a roll as Alastair Cook slammed a double hundred and the Australian skipper Steve Smith also notched up a century batting on the 5th day. Although the 4th day was hampered due to rain yet only 24 wickets fell in the whole game.
Ideally, a Test match surface should have equal assistance for both batsmen and bowlers and the pitch should deteriorate enough in the last 2 days for a result to be enforced. But none of that happened to the MCG pitch and the Australian batsmen batted comfortably even on the last day.
“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 regulations to be implemented for pitch ratings
The ICC is set to introduce new rules in the judgment of the pitches and this was the last time a rating was done with the old rules. Come January 4th, the pitches, if given poor ratings, will retain the demerit points 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 stated in a release.