Tasmania shield match abandoned over dangerous pitch

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Hobart (Australia): Tasmania's Sheffield Shield cricket match against Western Australia was abandoned on Thursday because of an unsafe Bellerive Oval pitch, officials said. The extraordinary move was announced by Tasmanian Cricket Association chief executive David Johnston after lunch on the second day after several players were struck by deviating balls in the morning session. Western Australia was 52 for three at lunch, chasing Tasmania's first innings of 179. No result was declared but the visitors were expected to get six points when the Australian Cricket Board completed an investigation. Johnston said the decision was made after "considerable concerns about the safety of the wicket". During Thursday's opening session, two Tasmanians - Scott Kremerskothen and Adam Griffith - were struck on the helmets by deliveries from WA paceman Brad Williams. They were not injured but had their helmets replaced. Other players were hit around the body and on the gloves. Johnston said the players, captains and umpires all agreed the game should be abandoned. "It is regrettable and it is not good for Tasmanian cricket or Australian cricket that this occurred," he said. "We have not been happy with the standard of the wicket here at Bellerive for probably the past year and a bit. It is a decision we don't take lightly but the safety of the players is our foremost concern. "There will be a full investigation by the ACB (officials)...they will write a report and have recommendations for us as well." The last time domestic play was abandoned was during a One-day game between Queensland and WA in 2000-2001 after just five overs at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground in Perth.

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