MCG pitch given 'poor' rating by ICC

Chris Woakes in action during the Melbourne Test
Chris Woakes in action during the Melbourne Test

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given a 'poor' rating for the Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch that recently hosted the Boxing Day Test between Australia and England.

The game which eventually ended in a draw saw England bat just once scoring 491 runs while Australia managed 327 and 263 for four in the two innings.

This was also the first draw at the venue after 12 Ashes Test and the pitch drew a lot of criticisms from England skipper Joe Root and Australia captain Steven Smith on the lack of bounce.

A report submitted by match referee Ranjan Madugalle stated that the pitch did not offer equally for the bowlers and batsmen and the result of a draw looked certain.

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

"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 ICC will decide in due course of time on the sanction to be imposed on the MCG authorities which could range from a warning to a fine.

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