Image courtesy: Sky Sports
The Sheffield Shield clash between Victoria and Western Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was abandoned after multiple attempts by ground staff to make the pitch playable for day two on Sunday failed.
Western Australian batsmen Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were struck by deliveries from Peter Siddle that spat off a good length as the duo had to undergo concussion tests. However, the pair were cleared of any signs of concussion.
Stoinis had to deal with another nasty blow onto his ribs off Andrew Fekete’s bowling.
It is being understood that too much moisture in the drop-in wicket led to divots, which hardened under the scorching sun, creating spots on the pitch which encouraged the ball to do all sorts of tricks.
MCG curator Matt Page and his ground staff made multiple attempts to make the deck playable after all the drama unfolded. But match officials remained stood on the fact that the pitch was too ‘dangerous’ to play on.
It was another blow for the MCG track which has been criticized in the past as well for being too docile and received a poor rating from the International Cricket Council.
The Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive, Stuart Fox, in a statement defended the curators and the stakeholders involved in making standard of the MCG better.
“Over the last 12 months, our curators, supported by key stakeholders including Cricket Australia, have made a concerted effort in making improvements to the standard of the MCG wickets to ensure there’s enough in them for both bat and ball,” he said.
“While it’s unfortunate that play was suspended today, the previous two Sheffield Shield matches held at the MCG 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.
“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 was also clarified that the deck being used in the Shield clash is not the one which is being prepared for the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand.