Melbourne [Australia], Dec 7 : Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday announced that they will work closely with the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) staff to ensure the best possible wicket is prepared for the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand.
The day one of the Marsh Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia was suspended today with two deliveries remaining in the 40th over after an Andrew Fekete delivery struck Marcus Stoinis.
Umpires Phillip Gillespie and Geoff Joshua asked ground staff to roll the pitch in the interests of player safety but following an inspection, the play was abandoned.
“We’re very disappointed at today’s play being abandoned in the Marsh Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia. But we also acknowledge that there have been two previous Shield matches at the MCG this season without incident,” CA’s Head of Cricket Operations, Peter Roach, said in a statement.
“Matt Page and the MCG groundstaff have more than two weeks to ensure the Test surface, which is a different pitch strip to the one being used in this match, is of international standard. We will seek to better understand the issues that resulted in variable bounce at the MCG on Saturday. We will also work closely with MCG groundstaff in the lead up to the Test match,” he added.
Roach further stated that the safety of the players is their ‘highest priority’ and applauded Gillespie and Joshua for their decision.
“The safety of our players is always our highest priority. The decision to suspend play and roll the wicket in an effort to address the variable bounce was the correct one and I applaud umpires Gillespie and Joshua for the decisive action taken,” he said.
The first Test between Australia and New Zealand will begin on December 12.
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