Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Chief Executive Stuart Fox has expressed his concerns over the preparation of the MCG pitch for the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India this summer. India are set to play a four-match Test series Down Under beginning from December 17.
The first Test is set to take place at Adelaide but the rise in COVID-19 cases in South Australia and Adelaide has made it shifting to MCG quite possible. However, Cricket Australia still believes that there would be no problems in hosting the first Test at Adelaide.
There was supposed to be a two-day practice game at the MCG which was called off the night before due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in South Australia. This has made Stuart Fox a bit nervous about how the MCG pitch would play without being tested before the Boxing Day Test.
"It is a concern for me because I would like to give them every opportunity to trial the pitches but we [were to have had] a Test event the other day and Cricket Victoria were supporting us, we were meant to have players and a two-day game and we had the pitch ready to go but the game got cancelled the night before and that was really, ultimately, the result of the situation in South Australia," Stuart Fox said on RSN radio.
Stuart Fox backs curator Matt Page to deliver a sporting pitch for the Boxing Day Test
Although these are testing times for everyone, especially the MCC who are in a race against time to prepare a sporting pitch for the Boxing Day Test, Stuart Fox has put his weight behind curator Matt Page.
After a blunder last summer where too much water left on the MCG pitch led to the game between Victoria and Western Australia being called off, Page delivered a brilliant pitch for Australia's Boxing Day Test against New Zealand.
The MCG pitch got a 'very good' rating from the ICC and thus Fox believes that Page can deliver another great pitch this summer.
"Matt is in a good spot. He produced a really good pitch last year that got a really good rating and he knows his trade. He is year three in and he is starting to deeply understand our pitches compared to where he was," Stuart Fox said.
With Australian vice-captain Pat Cummins and other fast bowlers making their intentions clear that they want seamer-friendly wickets for the series against India, it will be interesting to see what kind of pitch the MCC delivers for the Boxing Day Test this summer.Published 19 Nov 2020, 14:23 IST