The Melbourne Renegades won the toss and chose to field first at GMHBA Stadium following their skipper Nic Maddinson’s description of the pitch as “completely soaked” due to heavy overnight showers causing water to seep beneath the covers. Despite the Perth Scorchers starting their innings in a typical manner, scoring was challenging initially, leading to both openers departing during the powerplay. The critical moment arrived during the penultimate ball of the seventh over.
Wicket-keeper batsman Josh Inglis, batting at 3, attempted to strike a wide delivery from Will Sutherland, but the ball unexpectedly bounced off the surface, sailing past him at chest height before landing in the concerned Quinton de Kock’s gloves. Aaron Hardie, batting at the other end with an unbeaten 23 off 27 balls, swiftly consulted the umpire. Following a brief discussion between the on-field officials, the players swiftly left the ground. Subsequently, the match was abandoned, leading to official statements being issued.
The Renegades’ press release stated, “On Sunday morning, the club was informed of water damage to the GMHBA Stadium pitch due to heavy rain on Saturday. The Kardinia Park Stadium Trust worked to improve the wicket’s condition throughout the day, and match officials deemed it safe to begin play.”
James Rosengarten, the team’s general manager, expressed disappointment, saying, “Our primary concern is for our fans, especially those in Geelong and Victoria. We’re deeply disappointed with tonight’s turn of events. The match against the Scorchers was significant, and our fans deserved better. It should have been an exciting evening of cricket, and we’ll address the repercussions in the coming days. The club will ensure that all general ticket holders receive refunds.”
Umpire Ben Treloar explained the decision not to start the match earlier, saying, “The last delivery behaved unusually, posing a potential danger, which prompted us to call it off.” He mentioned to Seven via ESPN Cricinfo, “Initially, we inspected the pitch, but sometimes issues don’t surface until the game starts. After a few overs, we were hopeful, but the conditions worsened, and the last incident was enough for us to consider it unsafe.”
Scorchers’ veteran Aaron Finch added perspective, stating, “Josh Inglis felt the danger while batting. The erratic bounce could pose serious risks if it hits someone’s body or head. We don’t want to wait for a serious injury to occur before taking action, even if no one has been hit yet.”