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Geelong to host Big Bash match after dangerous pitch disaster, fixtures, dates, venues, times, video

Cricket Australia is confident there will be no repeat of the “ridiculous” Kardinia Park pitch disaster that led to last summer’s Big Bash League match being cancelled, with the Geelong ground set to host another Melbourne Renegades home game this season.

Last December, the Renegades v Perth Scorchers game at Kardinia Park, also known as the GMHBA Stadium, was abandoned after 41 deliveries due to a dangerous pitch, with the umpires having to intervene after a “tennis ball” bounced on the ground.

“I will say this, I think it’s a bit ridiculous,” commented former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

“If it’s flat, where does it go? Directly under the grill.”

The pitch was not adequately protected from heavy rain before the match and as a result Geelong’s only Big Bash campaign of the 2023/24 season has been cancelled.

The match was not rescheduled and the points for the competition were shared between the two clubs. The Scorchers missed out on qualifying for The Qualifier by one point after losing the Knockout against the Adelaide Strikers in Perth in January and failed to secure the three-way title.

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Game ABANDONED due to pitch concerns! | 01:31

Having launched a review to determine the cause of the unsafe pitch, CA is confident Kardinia Park, which hosts multiple T20 World Cup matches in 2022, has fixed the issue ahead of the 2024/25 season.

“Geelong is a really big second home for Renegades, there’s a huge fan base there,” CA’s Head of Big Bash Leagues Alastair Dobson told Fox Cricket this week.

“This is a fantastic venue with a long history of elite cricket.

“We have worked very closely with the venue, Renegades and the cricket (operations) department at Cricket Australia to understand last year’s situation but more importantly to ensure the right actions and processes are in place to ensure this year’s event is a big one.”

Geelong will host the Renegades’ first home game of the 2024/25 season as the men in red take on the Hobart Hurricanes on Thursday, December 19.

“We love playing in Geelong,” Melbourne Renegades general manager James Rosengarten said in a statement.

“Our efforts to establish a second home at Kardinia Park, showcase Big Bash cricket and build a stronger connection with local cricket in the region are central to Renegades’ mission.

“We have worked hard to play our first home game of the new season in Geelong and to play in front of our passionate fan base.”

Gerard Griffin, General Manager of Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, continued: “Kardinia Park Stadium Trust is looking forward to welcoming the Renegades to kick off the season and make up for the disappointment of last year.”

CA will announce the full fixtures for the 14th edition of the BBL on Friday.