It was only the second Boxing Day Test draw in 20 years. 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.
The ICC has announced that the pitch for the fourth Test between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground has been rated as “poor”.— ICC (@ICC) January 2, 2018
More ➡️ https://t.co/TaFZuLN5g0 pic.twitter.com/YcL0ZzJ5g9
"The nature of the pitch did not change over the five days and there was no natural deterioration," he added. "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 rating comes just two days before the introduction of a new penalty system for grounds that could have seen the MCG hit with demerit points.
BREAKING: MCG pitch has been labelled as "poor" by the ICC. Embarrassing moment in history of a great stadium.— Ben Horne (@BenHorne8) January 2, 2018
Under the system, if a ground reaches five points the venue will be suspended from hosting international matches for 12 months, and for two years if the venue accumulates 10 points. Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said Tuesday he was "disappointed that the traditional characteristics of the MCG pitch did not come to the fore during the Boxing Day Test". "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."
The @MCG status as a great cricket ground is taking a mauling here in England.— Francis Leach (@SaintFrankly) December 29, 2017
That pitch is not up to the standard befitting great Test cricket.
The perception is - Blockbuster sales job, B-Grade movie.#Ashes
The Melbourne Cricket Club, which prepares and maintains the playing surface and facilities, said it was also disappointed with the pitch. "We recognise that the surface did not contain the bounce, pace or subsequent deterioration that we expected, and was not conducive to a balanced contest between bat and ball," it said in a statement, cricket.com.au reported. "We will be working rigorously to improve our performance and are confident and determined to produce portable wickets that generate entertaining cricket in 2018 and beyond."
"The pitch did not allow an even contest between the bat and the ball."— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) January 2, 2018
The ICC have come down hard on the MCG. https://t.co/LvyjbQd9Tz