The Big Bash League game between the Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers has been abandoned shortly after starting, due to an unplayable pitch in Geelong.
- A number of unpredictable deliveries prompted the match to be called off after 6.5 overs
- It is the first time a BBL game has been called off due to an unplayable pitch
- Renegades captain Nic Maddinson said the pitch was “drenched’ by rain in the hours leading up to the game
It had been raining for hours in the region leading up to the match and there were signs of moisture under the covers on the pitch when players and officials arrived.
Renegades captain Nic Maddinson chose to bowl after winning the toss because, as he put it: “The wicket’s absolutely drenched.”
A number of unpredictable deliveries in the seventh over prompted a close inspection of the wicket, with match officials opting to call the game off after 6.5 overs at Kardinia Park.
It is the first time a BBL game has been abandoned due to the condition of the pitch. The teams will share the points.
Just a day earlier, the fourth and final day of the Prime Minister’s XI game against Pakistan was called off in similar fashion after an overnight storm blew covers off the pitch, leaving it soaked.
The Renegades took 2-30 before three unpredictably bouncing deliveries from Will Sutherland in the seventh over eluded Scorchers batter Josh Inglis.
“This is a joke,” Inglis said on the pitch.
The deliveries and the players’ reactions led the umpires to inspect the pitch, and it was clear something was off.
“[The ball’s] taking some big divots out of the surface,” Renegades batter Aaron Finch said while mic’d up by Fox Sports, also describing some deliveries as “ugly”.
“It’s just bouncing ridiculously. If that’s on line with someone’s body or their head then that could [cause] some real issues.”
Sutherland admitted, while it was making life easy for bowlers, it did not look safe for batters.
During a suspension of play, umpires spoke to captains, coaches and the match referee and decided to call the game off.
“[After] the first few overs we were really quite hopeful, but just at the end, that last [delivery] was enough for us to consider it dangerous,” umpire Ben Treloar told Fox Cricket.
“Safety of [the players] is paramount.”
With fans obviously disappointed, booing as the abandonment became official, players hung around after shaking hands to sign autographs.
It was particularly awkward for Renegades wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who was making his Big Bash debut.
Having arrived not long before the game in Geelong, the South African will now return home for a series of T20s and ODIs against India in Durban.
He is expected to return to the Renegades later in the season.
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