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MCG GIVEN FORMAL WARNING OVER 'POOR' ASHES TEST PITCH

Cricket Australia did not contest the assessment made by match referee Ranjan Madugalle

The ICC has formally handed the Melbourne Cricket Ground an official warning after its Boxing Day Test pitch was rated 'poor'.

Cricket Australia did not contest match referee Ranjan Madugalle's assessment of the playing surface, which was heavily criticised following a dour Ashes encounter last month.

Just 24 wickets fell over the course of five days, with Australia scoring 327 and 263 for four declared, while England hit 491 in their only innings.

The MCG pitch came under fire during the fourth Ashes Test

Madugalle's report said the pitch did not offer an even contest between bat and ball.

An ICC statement read: "The International Cricket Council (ICC) has today announced that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has been given an official warning, in relation to the ‘poor’ rating given to the pitch for the fourth Test of the Australia v England series played at the venue from 26-30 December, 2017.

"In arriving at the sanction, the ICC noted the comprehensive response provided by Cricket Australia, which did not contest the rating given to the pitch by the ICC match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, but highlighted that the ground is a frequently used venue that has no history of preparing poor pitches for international cricket, and indicated that there was a commitment by both the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and Cricket Australia to improve the pitches presented for international cricket at the MCG in the future."

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