ICC rates MCG pitch as 'Poor'

Steve Smith and Stuart Broad watch on as the groundsman tries to flatten the MCG pitch with a sledgehammer

The International Cricket Council, ICC, has given the Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch a poor rating for last week's drawn Ashes test.

The drop-in pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was unforgiving for bowlers, with a total of 1,081 runs scored and only 24 wickets taken over five days.

Match referee Ranjan Madugalle, an ICC release said, submitted his report to the governing body expressing the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch that saw Australia scoring 327 and 263/4 declared, while England piled up 491 in their only innings.

The draw denied England their first win on the Ashes tour, as well as removing the possibility of a whitewash for Australia.

The tiresome MCG pitch will be reviewed by the Melbourne Cricket Club after the outgoing Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide suggested the ground's drop-in wicket square was overdue to be dug out and remade from scratch.

According to the agency, this report has been given to Cricket Australia and the CA has 14 days to respond to this.

More news: Arsene Wenger calls for VAR after controversial Arsenal draw

From January 1, worldwide grounds that produce sub-par pitches will cop two demerit points if deemed "below average" by the match referee, three points for pitches rated "poor" and five points for those classified as "unfit". "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".

"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.

"For mine, I think we should be aiming for more variation, particularly as the game goes on".

The major change in the revised ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process is to the sanctioning system for venues which present substandard conditions for global matches.

Under the new guidelines, the MCG's poor rating would have accumulated three points, with any venue accumulating five points over a five-year rolling period being suspended from hosting global cricket for 12 months.

"We'll be taking on board advice from the ICC, players and relevant experts to work with the Melbourne Cricket Club to ensure this rating is not repeated".

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