Big Bash League
A Big Bash League (BBL) 13 game between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades at the Simonds Stadium in Geelong was abandoned after just 6.5 overs into the contest on Sunday. The game was halted before being called off due to ‘dangerous’ pitch conditions. Divots appeared on the pitch and there was unpredictable bounce which prompted the players from the two teams to raise the issue with the on-field umpires. After a 20-minute delay, the game was called off, leaving a nearly packed house in Geelong disappointed.
There was plenty of rain in Geelong in the days leading up to the 4th match of the Big Bash League season and water seemed to have seeped under the cover, leading to those wet patches on the pitch. There were concerns about the damp areas on the pitch before the start of the match and it was highlighted during the toss.
“The wicket’s absolutely drenched so we just want to have a look at what’s going to happen,” Renegades captain Nic Maddinson said after winning the toss and sending the Scorchers into bat.
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Perth Scorchers were 30 for 2 in 6.5 overs when the game was halted. Aaron Hardie, who was batting on 20, first made the complaint to the on-field umpires, highlighting the difficulty of batting on the pitch.
Josh Inglis, who was batting on 3, also walked up to join the discussion before the players went off the field.
Legendary batter Ricky Ponting, who was on the air, called it “ridiculous” the moment after he saw the uneven bounce in the 7th over.
Former Australia captain and Melbourne Renegades star Aaron Finch, speaking to the broadcasters, highlighted the safety concern for players, saying there was risk of players getting hit on their bodies or on the helmet if they continued playing on that pitch.
Will Sutherland’s 2nd over highlighted the dangerous nature of the pitch as three balls pitching in almost the same region of the pitch behaved differently.
Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who was making his Big Bash League, looked puzzled as he watched the batters struggling the gauge the bounce of the pitch.
The on-field umpires confirmed in a chat with the broadcasters said they were hoping the pitch would play well after having a look at it at the start of the match but things started unravelling quickly.
“The last delivery that we saw behaved quite uncharacteristically. So that was the reason for coming off,” the on-field umpires said.
“Yeah, we had a look at the pitch at the start of the game. But sometimes, until you start playing on it, those things don’t present themselves. After the first few overs, we were quite hopeful because it was doing okay but then it decided to go south and then the last one was enough to deem it was dangerous,” he added.