Steve Smith of Australia and bowler Stuart Broad of England look on as the groundsman tries to flatten the bowlers foot marks on the pitch   © Getty Images
Steve Smith of Australia and bowler Stuart Broad of England look on as the groundsman tries to flatten the bowlers foot marks on the pitch © Getty Images

The 2017-18 edition was one of the most one-side Ashes to be played. Australia  regained the urn winning the series 4-0. The only Test not to produce a result was the Boxing Day tie at Melbourne Cricket Ground that offered a ‘poor pitch’ according to International Cricket Council. The ICC now has sent an official warning to MCG.

The ICC press-release said, “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.”

Madugalle’s report further states, “The bounce of the MCG pitch was medium, but slow in pace and got slower as the match progressed. The nature of the pitch did not change over the five days and there was no natural deterioration. 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.”

The fourth Test was a draw, after Alastair Cook scored an unbeaten double-ton for England and Steven Smith, slammed his customary hundred to save the day for Australia.