Marquee signing Quinton de Kock and his reaction said it all on Sunday having been left stunned after the Big Bash League game between the Melbourne Renegades and the Perth Scorchers was abandoned. Water had seeped under the covers before the start of play at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, which caused concern for a number of players.
The players were cautious as the game got underway, but unfortunately the umpires made the decision to abandon the game after just 6.5 overs after a number of deliveries ballooned off the pitch. One such delivery prompted Josh Inglis to take a wild swing at a ball, before it rocketed off the pitch following an abnormal bounce.
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The delivery went through to the Renegades' wicketkeeper, and South African marquee signing, de Kock. And his reaction said it all as he covered his mouth in astonishment after the wild bounce bamboozled everyone. And it was this delivery that stopped play.
"We wanted to give play every chance. It's why we started to play," umpire Ben Treloar said on the Fox Sports broadcast. "After the first few overs, we were quite hopeful (of the game being completed) but that last ball to (Josh) Inglis, that was enough for us. That was the one that put us in this position. The safety of the players is paramount."
De Kock's reaction followed a spray from former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting who labelled the pitch unfit to play on. "I'm going to say it - I think that's a bit ridiculous," he said. "We started this game hoping that the wicket was going to play better than we thought and better than it looked, but that one there is ... if that's straight where is it going to go? Straight up under your grill."
"We started this game hoping that the wicket was going to play better than we thought and better than it looked, but that one there is ... if that's straight where is it going to go? Straight up under your grill." Renegades captain Nic Maddinson admitted he didn't know the protocol over the unsafe pitch, but the players left the ground and were told the game was abandoned.
Big Bash match between Melbourne Renegades vs Perth Scorcher has been suspended due to "unsafe pitch".pic.twitter.com/skeXVbGeWn
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 10, 2023
Cricket Australia released a statement saying the Renegades and Scorchers would both receive one point due to the 'no result'. Fans who attended the game were also offered a full refund despite initial concerns that the six overs had resulted in an official game. Nevertheless, fans and commentators were up in arms with Michael Vaughan particularly scathing over the drama and its impact on the game.
Michael Vaughan lets rip at unsafe wicket
Former England captain Vaughan was critical of the incident and claimed abandoned games are not a good look for the sport as it tries to grow its worldwide audience. “I just get frustrated with cricket. Cricket has a habit of these scenarios,” Vaughan said Fox Sports.
“I’m pretty sure they knew it was going to rain all day yesterday, can’t you get extra covers in? “I saw it in a Test match in the UK at Old Trafford, I saw it last year at the SCG when there wasn’t enough covering ... too much time taken out of the game.
“We always just think ‘oh it’s unfortunate’, but seriously you can’t get enough covers to cover an area of turf and get more covers in to make sure today’s game goes ahead. I just find sometimes in cricket we make too many excuses for things that should not happen. That shouldn’t be the case that a game gets abandoned because water got on the pitch.”
We’ve had… 24 wickets fall in a day at the SCG two weeks ago, Prime Minister's XI called off early because covers were blown off, and now a pitch too dangerous it looks like one of the first #BBL13 games will be abandoned. Bit of chaos going on. 👀👀 #cricket
— Jelisa Apps (@JelisaApps) December 10, 2023
— BlaikeCamo (@AndersonBlaike) December 10, 2023
— Jamie (@jamiesportstwit) December 10, 2023
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