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Renegades clash with Scorchers called off after 6.5 overs due to unsafe pitch

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

The surface in Geelong came under the scanner after 6.5 overs  •  Getty Images

The surface in Geelong came under the scanner after 6.5 overs  •  Getty Images

Melbourne Renegades' Big Bash League clash with Perth Scorchers has been abandoned after 6.5 overs because of safety concerns over a water-damaged pitch.
The ground staff in Geelong worked feverishly on Sunday to dry the pitch after heavy rain crept under the covers overnight. Renegades captain Nic Maddinson declared the pitch still "absolutely drenched" at the toss and sent the Scorchers in to bat.
Scorchers had reached 30 for 2 after 6.5 overs when umpires stopped play to inspect the pitch, with the fixture abandoned soon afterwards.
In a statement, Cricket Australia said: "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."
The decision to abandon the game came after concerns from batters over inconsistent bounce and extravagant seam movement, in particular from the Scorchers' Josh Inglis. At the time, Aaron Hardie was unbeaten on 20 off 23, while Inglis was not out on 3 off 7.
"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."
Ashton Turner, Perth Scorchers' captain, said there were doubts over the surface before the game began but it was worth trying to get a game played.
"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."
He added that officials perhaps needed to look for ways that a game could still carry on when a situation such as this develops.
"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."
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."
In a statement, Melbourne Renegades said: "On Sunday morning, the club was made aware that the GMHBA Stadium pitch sustained some water damage during Saturday's heavy rain. Kardinia Park Stadium Trust undertook work throughout the day to improve the condition of the wicket and match officials deemed the surface safe to commence play.
Renegades general manager James Rosengarten added: "Our first thoughts are with our fans - the loyal supporters we have across Geelong and Victoria. We are incredibly disappointed in tonight's events.
"We had an important match against the Scorchers and our fans have a right to feel incredibly let down. It should have been a great night of cricket and we will discuss the outcomes of that in the days ahead. The club will ensure that all general public ticket purchasers are refunded"

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MR 59.59%
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Over 7 • PS 30/2

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