Match abandoned at MCG

Ruben Hill
December 8, 2019

In accepting the blame, MCC chief executive Stuart Fox says an internal directive to "push the boundaries" and produce a more lively wicket led to an overcorrection and, ultimately, a unsafe surface.

The first day's play of a four-day clash between Victoria and Western Australia was called off on Saturday after several Western Australian batsmen were hit on a risky MCG pitch.

Extra moisture left in the wicket had led to divots early on Saturday, which hardened under a baking sun and made the surface unplayable.

The abandonment is another blow for the maligned MCG pitch, which has been criticised as being too docile in recent years and received unfavourable ICC ratings.

"While it's unfortunate that play was suspended today, the previous two Sheffield Shield matches held at the 'G this summer have been held without incident and have seen a result in the first match and a draw in the second with significant rain delays contributing to that outcome".

The Black Caps are scheduled to face Australia at the same venue at this year's Boxing Day Test, beginning on December 26. The Black Caps are playing their first MCG test in 32 years.

"We saw guys getting hit on the head and it was disappointing".

"Matt Page and the MCG groundstaff have more than two weeks to ensure the test surface, which is a different pitch strip to the one being used in this match, is of worldwide standard".

The strip being used in the Shield match is not the one being prepared for Australia's Test against New Zealand.

"We won't put our players on a wicket that we feel is not safe".

"Our broader plan is to continually make improvements to the wickets to allow for pace, bounce and lateral movement and we're confident about our preparations leading into the upcoming Boxing Day Test".

"It's probably the biggest, most iconic test in Australia, . this is its rightful home", he said.

Marsh and Stoinis were cleared of concussion.

The pitch will be inspected again tomorrow ahead of a potential re-start but Western Australia coach Adam Voges was unimpressed.

Should CA not be able to find a date to reschedule the match, both teams will be awarded three points in the competition.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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