CA to penalise Oz states creating 'too much' bowler-friendly pitches in domestic games

Melbourne, July 27 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) will reportedly penalise states which create pitches too much in favour of fast bowlers by possible deducting their points from the domestic Sheffield Shield tournament.

CA has been prompted into strong action following serious concerns about the spicing up of Sheffield Shield pitches for results, Telegraph.com.au reports.

According to the report, Australia's current batting and spinning woes have been partly blamed on pitches which are either too moist or green, or both, making batting difficult and spinners obsolete as the seamers dominate.

Even as concerns about Shield pitches were heightened at the beginning of last summer going to the Test series against heavyweights South Africa, CA's high performance manager Pat Howard had introduced a pitch inspection process early last year to encourage a fair contest between bat and ball, much worrying some states.

Stating that the Shield preparation is the premise for Test preparation, Howard said that CA wants pitches to reflect their true character such as Perth being a bouncy wicket, adding that they are not just after flat tracks.

The report further said that the host state is scrutinised if 14 wickets fall on the first day of a Shield match.

Encouraging Shield games to go into the last day, Howard also said that day four cricket helps more spin and batting against spin and gets bowlers to be patient in harder conditions, adding that they want players to bat time and hopes that the separation of Ryobi Cup one-day cricket and the Shield will encourage more disciplined batting.

According to Howard, the amount of hundreds scored last season in Shield was low, with Chris Rogers and Ricky Ponting being the only players to score three centuries.

Australia was bowled out for just 128 in the first innings at Lord's on a pitch where the par score was considered 400 and eventually lost the second Test by a massive 347 runs to go 2-0 down in the series, which was Australia's sixth Test loss in a row. (ANI)

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