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ICC RATE MCG PITCH FOR BOXING DAY TEST AS 'POOR'

The fourth match of the Ashes series was drawn in Melbourne last week

The International Cricket Council has rated the Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch for the Boxing Day Ashes Test as "poor".

The playing surface at the MCG came in for substantial criticism during the drawn clash last week and, in his report to the ICC, match referee Ranjan Madugalle has echoed the concerns.

"The bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed," Madugalle's report read.

"The nature of the pitch did not change over the five days and there was no natural deterioration.

Steve Smith inspects the MCG pitch prior to the start of the fourth Test

"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."

Australia were dismissed for 327 in their first innings before England responded with 491. The hosts then made 263 for four second time around. 

Cricket Australia has two weeks to respond to the report.

Chief executive James Sutherland said: "Such a rating is extremely disappointing for all involved. 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."

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