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Big Bash game abandoned because of unsafe pitch

Melbourne Renegades players examine the pitch against Perth Scorchers

The men’s Big Bash League game between Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers was abandoned after just 41 deliveries because of an unsafe pitch.

The Scorchers were 30-2 in Geelong when the umpires stopped play to inspect the pitch.

The players were taken off and the game was later abandoned, which was greeted with boos from the fans.

Renegades player Aaron Finch said there was concern about the bounce from a wet patch on the pitch.

A lot of rain had fallen in the Geelong area over the previous 24 hours which made preparation difficult for ground staff at the stadium.

“It’s just bouncing ridiculously,” Finch, who was wearing a microphone for TV commentary, said.

“If that’s bouncing on line with someone’s body or their head, that could cause some real issues.”

The Perth Scorchers are defending champions in the event.

Josh Inglis came in to bat with the Scorchers on 18-2 and the right-hander was hit on the top of the back leg from the second ball he faced when a Will Sutherland delivery darted back into him.

The next ball from a similar line went past Inglis’ outside edge in what was the latest in a number of play and misses.

An inside edge from the batter was dropped by wicketkeeper Ouniton de Kock, while the next and final delivery bounced awkwardly to the annoyance of Inglis before the players went off.

“The pitch at GMHBA Stadium was rain-affected in the days prior to the game,” said a Cricket Australia statement.

“Ground staff worked throughout the day to rectify the situation and umpires considered the pitch safe for play to start.

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

“Each team will receive one point unless the game can be rescheduled. Fans will be refunded the cost of their tickets.”

CA added it would “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”.

Melbourne Renegades said they had been made aware that the pitch “sustained some water damage during Saturday’s heavy rain” and work was done “throughout the day to improve the condition of the wicket”.

“We are incredibly disappointed in tonight’s events,” said general manager James Rosengarten.

“It should have been a great night of cricket and we will discuss the outcomes of that in the days ahead.”

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