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Big Bash League: Melbourne Renegades versus Perth Scorchers abandoned due to pitch safety concerns

For the first time in 555 Big Bash games in Australia, a match was abandoned due to the state of the pitch; defending champions Perth Scorchers were taking on Melbourne Renegades when big variances in the bounce of the ball caused the match to be called off

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The Big Bash League match between Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers was abandoned due to the 'dangerous' state of the pitch which caused safety concerns for players and umpires.

The Big Bash League game between Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers was abandoned due to safety concerns around the pitch.

Batters struggled with the varying bounce of the ball during the opening six overs, leading to discussions between the groundstaff, captains and match officials before the match was called off.

Rainfall across the weekend in Geelong, Australia, was the cause of the pitch state and the crowd showed their disapproval by booing when the news was announced.

In the seventh over, Josh Inglis was hit in the groin by one Will Sutherland delivery, then edged another before a full ball flew over his bat to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

"I didn't hear anything that the umpires were saying but obviously they're concerned with how the balls are bouncing from that wet patch here," said Renegades' Aaron Finch.

"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 with that.

"It's been tapped in (by curators) but it's just taking some big divots out of the surface there as well. It's gripped the seam and it's bouncing ridiculously. If that's on line with someone's body or their head then there could be some real issues.

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"You don't want to wait for someone to get seriously injured and go 'we did think it was unsafe'."

Melbourne Renegades players inspect the pitch before the match was called off
Image: Melbourne Renegades players inspect the pitch before the match was called off

Standing umpire Ben Treloar added on Fox Cricket: "We wanted to give it every chance, that's why we started play. It looked all right on top and the first few overs, we were really quite hopeful with what we saw.

"But just at the end, that last one, that was enough for us to consider that dangerous. It was that last delivery, that was the one that got us to that dangerous position and the safety of the players is paramount."

The Scorchers, who are the defending champions, were 30-2 when play was stopped after 41 deliveries.

Cricket Australia confirmed each team will receive one point unless the game can be rescheduled and fans will be refunded the cost of their tickets.

"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."

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