Lifeless MCG pitch rated poor by ICC
A lifeless MCG pitch has been rated poor by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following Australia's draw with England in the fourth Test of the Ashes.
Australia scored 327 and 263-4 declared either side of England posting 491 in their only innings, with the surface in Melbourne criticised by players on both sides.
Only 24 wickets were taken across the five days and ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle expressed concern over the pitch in his report to the governing body.
"The bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed," said Madugalle.
"The nature of the pitch did not change over the five days and there was no natural deterioration.
"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."
Cricket Australia has 14 days to provide their response to the ICC.
The Test at the MCG was the last match to be rated prior to the implementation of a new 'ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process'.
Under the new system, which comes into effect from January 4, three demerit points would have been awarded to the Victorian venue. According to the new regulations, reaching five across a rolling five-year period will result in a 12-month ban on hosting any international cricket.
The fifth and final Ashes Test begins in Sydney on Thursday, with Australia holding a 3-0 lead.