Madugalle voices MCG concerns

02 January 2018 22:57:15 GMTPlus11

Australia's Ashes win has taken in an embarrassing twist after the MCG pitch for the fourth Test draw was rated poor.

The International Cricket Council confirmed the assessment of the Melbourne surface under their pitch and outfield monitoring process.

Match referee Ranjan Madugalle submitted his report to the ICC expressing the concerns of the match officials over the performance of the pitch, after only 24 wickets fell over five days.

Cricket Australia now have 14 days to provide their response to the ICC's findings.

"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," said Madugalle.

"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 gave the bowlers sufficient opportunity to take wickets."

In future, demerit points will be awarded to grounds that produce substandard playing conditions for international cricket.

That change was announced in the autumn and will come into effect ahead of the final Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

From now on poor or unfit pitches will be landed with three and five demerit points respectively.

Reaching five demerit points results in the suspension of a ground from hosting internationals for 12 months.

Meanwhile, Australia are 1.66 to win the fifth and final Ashes Test, with the draw 4.33 and an England victory 4.50.

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