Sheffield Shield match suspended due to dangerous MCG pitch
Melbourne, Dec 7: Just three weeks ahead of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand, play was suspended indefinitely on the opening day of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Several batsmen were hit by rising deliveries when umpires finally decided to suspend the play after West Australia reached 89/3 after 40 overs less than an hour into the second session.
"The Sheffield Shield match at the MCG has been suspended indefinitely," Cricket Australia tweeted.
It said on its website that the move came after talks were held between the umpires and captains Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh along with chief curator Matt Page, after a ball from Andrew Fekete struck Marcus Stoinis in the ribs.
Marsh, who'd made 14 off 57 balls, was among the batsmen to be battered multiple times by balls from fast bowlers that rose sharply and unexpectedly on the lively pitch.
This is the last competitive game being held at the MCG which will be hosting the second Test between Australia and New Zealand starting December 26.
In the recent times, the MCG pitch has come under heavy scrutiny for being lifeless.
Following the 2017-18 drawn Ashes Test in Melbourne, the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave the wicket an unprecedented 'poor' rating for providing so little assistance to bowlers. Then for last summer's Test against India, it was given an 'average' rating by the ICC.