Hazardous pitch forces abruptly ends Scorchers-Renegades match

Due to hazardous field conditions at the Simonds Stadium in Geelong, the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Perth Scorchers was called off after just 6.2 overs.

After rains seeped beneath the covers and soaked the pitch overnight, the ground crew set to work getting the surface back in order. However, before putting the Perth Scorchers into bat, Renegades captain Nic Maddinson described the pitch as “absolutely drenched”.

As anticipated, after 35 official deliveries and a score of 30 to 2, the umpires intervened to assess the surface and determined it was unfit for play and thus called off the game. By then, Cooper Connolly had been caught behind off Will Sutherland, and Stephen Eskinazi had been removed LBW for a duck by Tom Rogers.

The pitch was generally two-paced, with many deliveries seaming and bouncing more than normal. Then, a delivery from a length wide outside off-stump spat off the wicket and looped into the keeper’s gloves, beating the drive by a good margin. This was the breaking point.

According to a statement from Cricket Australia, “CA will conduct a thorough review into the extremely frustrating circumstances that have resulted in the game being abandoned and a huge disappointment for fans and players.”

“That last delivery we saw behave quite uncharacteristically and in our minds we thought it behaved dangerously so that was the reason for coming off,” Ben Treloar, the umpire, told Seven. The skipper of the Perth Scorchers voiced his worries about the surface, but he also concluded that action should not be taken until cricket was played on the ground and that the correct choice was made before anyone was gravely injured.

Perth Scorchers skipper Ashton Turner remarked, “(At the) start of the day, we knew there were some doubts over the wicket but credit to both teams, we made a fair go of it.” “We felt the umpires made a pretty tough choice, but it was probably the right one, and we had sufficient evidence to call the game off. Although there were undoubtedly concerns regarding the nature of the wicket, we felt that we had to attempt to do something. Thankfully, nobody was wounded, and it is stated in the playing conditions that no one needs to be hurt to cancel, which seems like simple sense.”

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