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THE MCG has begun its transformation to get ready for footy season, with the removal of the drop-in cricket pitches beginning on Monday.

With Australia set to play in South Africa before the World T20 tournament in India, no more international cricket will be played in Australia this cricket season.

Victoria is currently sitting on top of the Sheffield Shield ladder and is in pole position to host the final.

However, a deal between the AFL and the Melbourne Cricket Club allows footy to play on the ground before the March 31 date that had previously been recognised as the official handover date between the two sports.

The Bushrangers will host the final at Alice Spring's Traeger Park should they finish the season on top of the ladder.

Richmond and Carlton kick off the season at the MCG on Thursday, March 24.