WATCH: Australia batsmen get hit as match is abandoned at 'dangerous' MCG

The Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia at the MCG was abandoned on the opening day due to concerns over a dangerous pitch.

File Picture: Shaun Marsh was among the batsmen to be battered multiple times by balls from fast bowlers that rose sharply and unexpectedly on the lively pitch.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Play was suspended indefinitely Saturday during a domestic game due to a dangerous pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, just weeks before it is due to host the traditional Boxing Day Test.

A decision to abandon the match was made later on day one of the Sheffield Shield clash between Victoria and Western Australia after several batsmen were hit by rising deliveries.

Umpires decided to call off day one of the match due to an unsafe wicket, after Western Australia batsmen Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were struck multiple times amid unpredictable bounce.

Cricket Australia (CA) released a statement, ensuring there will be a wicket of "international standard" ready for the Boxing Day blockbuster as organisers and curators were left scrambling.

The teams returned on Sunday but after a morning inspection it was agreed for the match to be abandoned, despite extensive work from the ground staff.

While a different strip will be used for the Australia-New Zealand Test, it has sparked cause for concern ahead of the trans-Tasman fixture.

Marsh was among the batsmen to be battered multiple times by balls from fast bowlers that rose sharply and unexpectedly on the lively pitch. One that caught Marcus Stoinis in the ribs proved the final straw.

The match is the last one at the MCG before the second Test between Australia and New Zealand on December 26, giving cricket officials little time to rectify the issue.

In recent times the pitch has been criticised for being lifeless. After the Boxing Day Test against England in 2017, the International Cricket Council rated it “poor” for offering little for the bowlers.

"We won't be losing the Boxing Day Test," Victorian sports minister Martin Pakula said. "I understand there is disappointment about the Shield match being abandoned but I've spoken to Stuart Fox [Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive] yesterday and today.

"The wicket being used for the Boxing Day Test is a different wicket to the one used yesterday and I've got no doubt that by the time we get to Boxing Day in a couple of weeks from now the wicket will be in perfect order for a Test match."

"I applaud the MCC for trying to prepare a wicket with more life in it," Pakula added. "It has been criticised in recent years for being too favourable to batsmen. The club is trying to find more balance between batting and bowling and they will keep working on that not just this year but in years ahead."

Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Alistair Nicholson added: "The right decision has been made. When player safety comes into it there's no debate from our point of view." The opening Test between Australia and New Zealand starts in Perth on December 12.

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