The pitch that forced the match to be abandoned. Picture: AAP Image/Sean Garnsworthy
The pitch that forced the match to be abandoned. Picture: AAP Image/Sean Garnsworthy

Plan B needed if MCG can’t deliver Test pitch

Cricket Australia has been urged by television broadcasters to have a venue on standby for Boxing Day in the case of emergency.

Officials are supremely confident the MCG pitch will be ready to go for the showpiece Test, and at this point no consideration has been given to contemplating a Plan B option outside of Melbourne.

Host broadcaster Fox Cricket are also assured, but for logistical reasons have told Cricket Australia that they would need a contingency plan put in place in the unlikely event that a worst-case scenario did become apparent in the days leading up to Boxing Day.

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Officials are seen speaking with the curator as play is abandoned due to an unsafe pitch prior to the start of day two of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Officials are seen speaking with the curator as play is abandoned due to an unsafe pitch prior to the start of day two of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Rigging up dozens of cameras, trucking in equipment and installing DRS is an enormous and expensive exercise which takes time to execute.

Cricket Australia has told the States there is no contingency venue, and are adamant they won't need to nominate one. However, it's understood they have taken Fox's advice on board and would come up with a back-up if the unthinkable did happen.

"We've got every faith in Cricket Australia and Cricket Australia are very confident they won't have any problem with the pitch," said Fox Cricket head, Matt Weiss.

 

The pitch that forced the match to be abandoned. Picture: AAP Image/Sean Garnsworthy
The pitch that forced the match to be abandoned. Picture: AAP Image/Sean Garnsworthy

 

"But in the unlikely scenario that they did (have a problem), we'd obviously love a contingency plan in place to make sure we can deliver the coverage for our loyal customers."

Cricket Australia and the MCC believe the drama that caused the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia to be abandoned was an isolated event and won't be repeated in the Test deck.

It's understood the Shield match could have been salvaged had match officials decided to delay the start for a session and roll the pitch for an extra two hours.

However, once play was allowed to go ahead at the scheduled start, divots were made and the damage could not be reversed due to the moisture in the wicket.

News Corp Australia

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