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BBL 2023-24: Renegades vs Scorchers called off due to unsafe pitch

Last updated on 10 Dec 2023 | 10:17 AM
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BBL 2023-24: Renegades vs Scorchers called off due to unsafe pitch

Only 6.5 overs were possible on a water-damaged pitch in Geelong

Match No.4 of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2023-24 between Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers in Geelong on Sunday (December 12) was called off after the pitch was declared unsafe. Only 6.5 overs were possible in the match. Following concerns shown by both sets of players, the umpires conducted an inspection, after which they decided to call off the match.

It was a water-damaged pitch in play in Geelong. Despite the ground staff working hard to clear the water and having it under covers overnight, it showed no improvement. The uneven bounce, even on full or near full deliveries, made it impossible for the batters to play on it, further raising concerns of some severe injuries.

At that point, Josh Inglis (3*) and Aaron Hardie (20*) were at the crease, and Perth had reached 30 for 2 after being put into bat.

"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," umpire Ben Treloar told Seven.

"When we initially started, we saw the pitch, we had a good look at it, [but] until you start playing on it, sometimes these things don't present themselves. After the first few overs, we were quite hopeful it was going to be okay, but then it started to go south and that last one was enough for us to consider it dangerous."

Scorchers captain Ashton Turner lauded both teams for trying to get a game in despite there being a huge question mark over the pitch. "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," he said.

"We had enough evidence to call the game off and think the umpires made a really difficult decision, but probably the right decision.

"There were definitely question marks over the nature of the wicket, but think we needed to try and make something happen. Fortunately, no one got hurt, and the playing conditions say that no one has to get hurt to call it off, which I think is common sense."

Turner also reckons there can be innovative ways to get a game in despite what transpired today. "Think we need some flexibility with the playing conditions," he said. 

"I've heard ideas floated about whether we can play from one end, no doubt there is a way that we could get a game of cricket, but we need some flexibility with the playing conditions to allow that."

This was the Scorchers' first game of the tournament, while the Renegades got into this game at the back of an eight-run loss against the Sydney Sixers on Friday (December 8). Nic Maddinson-led Renegades next take on Brisbane Heat at the Docklands on December 21. Scorchers, too, have a week's break and resume their campaign against the Hobart Hurricanes on December 20 at the Perth Stadium.

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