Cricket boss wants grounds to be unique

Scott Bailey
Critics suggested the MCG and SCG wickets made it too hard for bowlers to generate enough pace

Tradition isn't necessarily important but Cricket Australia boss Kevin Roberts wants every Test ground to return to having unique characteristics.

Pitches have been a talking point for most of the past two summers, with criticism that Australia's were becoming too similar.

Players last year suspected most wickets had become tough for bowlers to generate any real pace on, with life too easy for batsmen.

The MCG and SCG's flatter surfaces before this summer have also formed part of the debate, with the average first-innings score at both above 460 in the past five years.

"I think it's important every ground can stand for something and we have differences around the country," Roberts told SEN Radio on Saturday.

"(We want it) to entertain the fans and be a great test for the players.

"But as to whether it needs to be the same as what it was in the past, I'm not sure that is necessarily something that is essential."

This summer has at least produced some kind of return to old.

The Optus Stadium wicket in Perth cracked open in the heat and offered plenty of bounce.

The Gabba was pacey too, while Adelaide is now regarded the perfect surface for day-night Tests.

New Zealand also played two spinners for the Sydney Test, while the MCG this week received a top rating for the ICC as it offered far more to bowlers this summer.

The Melbourne wicket is expected to improve further with a new drop-in being prepared for coming years, while a transition from a concrete to sand base this summer was also deemed a success.

It came after it attracted ratings of poor and average in the previous two years, while a Sheffield Shield match was abandoned at the ground last month.

"They've made some really good and courageous decisions," Roberts said.

"We know ultimately the wicket square at the MCG needs to be recycled, the pitches are ageing and need to be recycled.

"But we also know it takes about three years to generate the next wave of drop-ins. They've done a brilliant job. I'm so happy for them."