Day 1 of Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and Queensland abandoned due to pitch concerns
The track conditions were termed dangerous by the match referee.
Updated - Nov 23, 2021 4:09 pm
Day 1 of the Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and Queensland was abandoned due to the vicious nature of the track at the Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide. Due to persistent drizzle at the venue, the play started more than two hours later than the scheduled time. Owing to the same, the track was under covers for the entire morning as it was raining.
The game holds great significance as captains of both teams – Usman Khawaja and Travis Head – are eyeing a place in Australia’s 15-man squad for the high-voltage Ashes series, starting from December 8. Hence, both teams took the field with some sort of intent. Unfortunately for players and fans, however, Day 1 of the match didn’t witness a full-fledged action with the track offering an uncanny rise to the deliveries.
With the pitch conditions looking pretty tricky, South Australia captain Travis Head elected to bowl after winning the toss. Queensland openers Joe Burns and Bryce Street showed commendable resistance on the wicket but found it hard to tackle some good-length deliveries. The former eventually fell prey to David Grant in the 35th over.
Marnus Labuschagne also tackled some unplayed deliveries
The opener was smashed on the glove after pressing forward to a delivery that lobbed to the second slip. Burns dejectedly looked at the pitch while leaving the field. He was replaced by Australia’s Test batting sensation Marnus Labuschagne, who tackled several such unplayable deliveries during his 48-ball stay in the middle.
One of the deliveries struck him on the left arm as Labuschagne looked in some sort of pain. With the track conditions worsening with time, umpires Donovan Koch and Mike Graham-Smith conducted several examinations before skippers of both teams also joined in.
Following several meetings with match referee Steve Davis, the umpires and captains agreed to halt the day’s play. As more rain is expected overnight, Davis suggested further remedial work would be undertaken tomorrow morning.
“It’s not undulated. It’s an area where the ball is sticking a bit, so there’s obviously some dampness underneath. It’s only about a meter square, but obviously, once you see a ball doing that, if you’re any sort of bowler you’re going to aim for that spot,” Davis was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au.
“There’s a potential of it being dangerous, so play has been suspended for today. It was obvious the umpires had some concerns, and the players had some concerns. There was a couple of people that were hit on the gloves and in the stomach area, and it was just behaving a bit unusual and that always gives you a bit of an alert,” he added.