Kardinia Park, Dec. 10 (cricket.com.au) - Just 6.5 overs were possible at GMHBA Stadium before umpires took players from the field after overnight rain seeped under the covers
The Melbourne Renegades' opening home game of the season against the Perth Scorchers at GMHBA Stadium has been called off due to a dangerous pitch.
Concerns over the wicket were raised prior to the match after heavy overnight rain in Geelong seeped under the covers and onto the playing surface.
Despite the concerns, the Renegades won the toss with Nic Maddinson having no hesitation in sending the reigning champions in.
"The wicket's absolutely drenched so we just want to have a look what's going to happen," Maddinson said at the toss.
The Scorchers lost two early wickets as their batters struggled due to the variable bounce, with Australian representative Aaron Hardie playing and missing on several occasions.
But the nail in the coffin came in the seventh over when Josh Inglis was hit in the groin by a Will Sutherland delivered that decked back a long way, before inside edging a similar ball that was dropped by gloveman Quinton de Kock.
The very next delivery, Inglis aimed a drive at a fuller delivery that ballooned over his bat through to de Kock.
Inglis was dismayed by the sequence of deliveries and expressed his disapproval towards umpires Ben Treloar and Simon Lightbody.
The officials then came together to discuss the state of the pitch, before taking the players from the field with the Scorchers 2-30 after 6.5 overs.
Former Australia captain Aaron Finch told Fox Cricket the ball had "taken big divots out of the wicket … gripped the seam and was just bouncing ridiculously".
The game was abandoned 45 minutes into the match at 8pm, with both sides sharing the two points available from the contest one each unless it can be rescheduled, Cricket Australia said in a statement.
"We wanted to give it every chance, that's why we started play," standing umpire Treloar told Fox Cricket after the match was called off.
"It looked alright 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 (pitch) 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."
Cricket Australia confirmed the 6601 fans that turned out to GMHBA Stadium on Sunday night would be refunded the cost of their tickets.
"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 governing body said.
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 … the club will ensure that all general public ticket purchasers are refunded."