3 Jan 2018

MCG pitch officially 'poor'

7:22 am on 3 January 2018

The Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch for the fourth Ashes cricket test has been officially rated as "poor" by the International Cricket Council after last week's drawn test between Australia and England.

Only 24 wickets fell in five days drawing criticism from both teams.

Cricket Australia has two weeks to respond to the report.

CA Chief Executive James Sutherland said CA will strive to avoid a repeat and discuss the matter with the administrators of the ground.

There's a question mark over the quality of the MCG pitch.

There's a question mark over the quality of the MCG pitch. Photo: Photosport

"Such a rating is extremely disappointing for all involved," Sutherland said. "We work closely with all our venues to encourage the best possible international cricket playing environment.

"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 test was the last to be rated under the ICC's pitch and outfield monitoring process, with a revision of the process set to come into effect from Thursday.

Under the new process, if a pitch or outfield is rated as being substandard, that venue will be allocated a number of demerit points, which will be active for a five-year period.

"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.

"When a venue accumulates five demerit points, it will be suspended from hosting any international cricket for a period of 12 months, while a venue will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 24 months when it reaches the threshold of 10 demerit points."

The fifth Ashes test begins in Sydney on Thursday.