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The first Test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba was nothing short of a controversial affair. The curator prepared an over-spiced pitch that favoured the bowlers to unleash themselves and wreak havoc in the middle. When it comes to batters, they struggled to get going as the match ended on day two itself.
With the next match (Boxing Day Test) scheduled to take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), curator Matt Page aims to provide a quality pitch that provides a good balance between bat and bowl. Chief Executive Stuart Fox believes that they preparing well and as per expectations, MCG is likely to have much less grass cover than what Gabba had.
“Preparations are going well at the MCG ahead of the Boxing Day Test. The weather is looking good for the next week, which will continue to aid our preparations,” Fox was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.
“As always, we are aiming to prepare a pitch that provides a good balance between bat and ball,” he added.
Reports also suggest that the MCG officials were shocked when the match referee David Boon rated the pitch to be ‘average’ during the Ashes last year. Thus, the sole goal this year is to provide a pitch that doesn’t favour either the batters or the bowlers and which promotes healthy competition.
Cricket Australia to honour Shane Warne during Boxing Day Test
All the members of the Australian and South African team will be seen donning floppy hats to honour the legendary Shane Warne in the Boxing Day Test. This is for the first time that a Test match will be played at this venue after the sudden demise of the former cricketer.
“Shane is an icon to cricket fans globally for the greatness of his cricketing achievements, his charisma, and his infectious enthusiasm for the game. His place as a legend of Australian and world sport is assured. Whilst we continue to mourn his passing, it is fitting that we honour Shane at his beloved Boxing Day Test at the MCG,” CEO of Cricket Australia Nick Hockley said.
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