Melbourne: In a major blow to New Zealand's preparations for the first Test, the tour match against Cricket Australia XI was called off midway due to the wicket's deteriorating surface becoming unfit for first-class cricket in Sydney.
In response to the CA XI's mammoth first innings total of 503-1, the tourists declared their innings without facing a ball after captain Brendon McCullum and team officials met the match referee's office over deteriorating pitch at Blacktown International Sportspark.
Amidst concerns over unsafe pitch, which was showing significant wear and tear, New Zealand decided not to use a fast bowler on Friday and instead relied on their medium pacers and part-timers.
Reflecting on the issue, Cricket Australia's head of cricket operations Sean Cary said that the preparation of the wicket was compromised by poor weather conditions in Sydney early this week. He insisted that they were considering other options to provide alternative preparation for the team ahead of next week's first Test, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Earlier, the CA declared their innings after Ryan Carters was dismissed for a career-best 209 while Aaron Finch was unbeaten on 288.