Controversy sparked as a BBL game between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades was halted and later abandoned due to a “dangerous pitch.” Game number 4 of the 13th edition of Big Bash League Australia was being played at the Simmonds Stadium in Geelong. After heavy rains in Geelong, water seeped under the covers, creating damp spots on the pitch.
What exactly happened?
Before the game, it appeared to be a normal wicket. However, once the game started, the pitch provided uneven bounce, looping in before reaching the wicketkeeper. It was the seventh over of Scorcher’s innings and they were batting at 30/2 when Will Sutherland was bowling to Josh Inglis. Sutherland bowled three good length deliveries to Inglis, who got beaten twice and inside-edged one to the keeper but did not carry. However, the pitch was uncharacteristic, and the ball was staying too high or too low.
Inglis signalled his partner Aaron Hardie showing some discontent with the pitch condition. The wicket-keeper for Renegades, Quinton De Kock also showed some discontent with the pitch, where the well-paced bowls looped extremely after taking off from the pitch.
The umpires had a conversation and asked the players to leave the field. They later had a conversation with the match officials and the officials of Cricket Australia, stating the pitch as “dangerous,” and the game was called off, keeping in mind the safety of the players.
This is the first time in the history of BBL that a game was called off due to poor pitch. Both teams were asked to share a point each.