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'It's bouncing ridiculously': BBL clash ends in farce as Geelong pitch deemed unsafe just six overs in

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10th December, 2023
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The Melbourne Renegades’ Big Bash League clash with the Perth Scorchers has been abandoned after fewer than seven overs because of safety concerns over a water-damaged pitch.

Ground staff at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium worked feverishly on Sunday to dry the pitch after heavy rain crept under the covers overnight.

Renegades captain Nic Maddinson declared the deck still “absolutely drenched” at the coin toss and sent the Scorchers in to bat.

Perth had reached 2-30 after 6.5 overs when umpires stopped play to inspect the pitch, with the fixture abandoned soon afterwards.

The decision came after concerns from batters over inconsistent bounce, in particular from the Scorchers’ Josh Inglis.

Cricket Australia later released a statement explaining the decision to end the game early.

“The pitch at GMHBA Stadium was rain-affected in the days prior to the game,” it read. “Ground staff worked throughout the day to rectify the situation and umpires considered the pitch safe for play to start.

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“However in the seventh over umpires abandoned the game, deeming there was foreseeable risk to the safety of the players. 

“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.”

Renegades veteran Aaron Finch told the Fox Sports broadcast that deliveries had taken “big divots” out of the surface.

“Josh Inglis said it felt dangerous when he was batting,” Finch said.

“It’s just bouncing ridiculously. If that’s bouncing on line with someone’s body or their head, then that could (cause) some real issues.

“It’s hard to say (if it’s too dangerous) when nobody’s been hit but you don’t want to wait for somebody to get seriously injured.”

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“I didn’t hear anything that the umps were saying but obviously they’re concerned with how the balls are bouncing from that wet patch here.

“It’s on that good length. It’s six to seven metre length. A few balls are getting in there. They’re obviously a little bit concerned about that.”

“It’s been tapped in but it’s just taking some big divots out of the surface there as well. You can see that one that Josh Inglis got just there, it’s gripped the seam and it’s bouncing ridiculously.

“If that’s on line with someone’s body or their head then that could be some real issues.

“You don’t want to wait for someone to get seriously injured then say ‘we did think it was unsafe’.

“I wouldn’t say it’s unsafe, but it’s slightly on the dangerous side. If you’re looking at player safety and you’re waiting for something to happen and someone to get hit, that’s the wrong attitude.”

© AAP

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