There were five occasions when unsafe pitch conditions forced the cancellation of cricket matches.
The BBL 2023–24 match between the Melbourne Renegades and Perth Scorchers at Geelong Stadium was canceled because of the wicket’s unusual bounce. After 6.5 overs, the game was abandoned because the wicket was unevenly bounced, making it “dangerous” for any batsman to bat on. The surface was also acting strangely. Fox Sports claims that water seeped through the covers, making the wicket wet and making it impossible for anyone to bat comfortably.
This may be the first instance in T20 cricket that a game was called off due to dangerous pitch conditions, but not in the game of cricket. There have been a few instances where dangerous pitches caused uneven bounce and forced the umpires to abandon the game. From Delhi to Melbourne’s MCG, a few of the iconic stadiums have faced penalties for poor wickets as well. Let’s have a look at five instances when a game was abandoned due to a poor wicket.
England vs. West Indies, Sabina Park 1997:
This was the first time a game was canceled in international cricket due to an unsafe pitch. England was being hosted by Kingston’s Sabina Park for a test match, but the wicket spoiled the Caribbean celebration. At 17 for 3, England’s hitters were having difficulty. Umpires Steve Buckner and S. Venkatraghavan had to cancel the game because of the wicket’s unique bounce because it was too risky to play on.
West Indies vs England, Sir Viv Richards Stadium in 2009 :
This game was done and dusted only in 10 balls. West Indian skipper Chris Gayle won the toss and invited England to bat first in the game. The game was called off due to an unplayable wicket as well as a sand-based outfield that was prepared for a five-day game at Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua. This was the second instance in test cricket and for West Indies that a match was called off due to a dangerous wicket.