Bizarre! Fire forces early lunch in Shield clash in Australia
The first day’s play of the Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Tasmania was interrupted due to fire behind the players’ pavilion. As per a report in Cricket.com.au, the on-field umpire spotted the fire and signalled the delivery a dead ball after Australia Test pacer Jackson Bird delivered the penultimate ball of the 26th over. Later, the umpire took away the players and soon; the members on the field walked out with five minutes still left in the first session. The fire officials took control and the second session’s play resumed on time.
“Fire services are on site and have assessed the situation. Players have been allowed back into the Pavilion for lunch. Play resumed at 1.10pm local time after the lunch break,” read a statement from the WACA.
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After 28 overs, Western Australia were 105/4.
It wasn’t a first in Australian cricket that the play had to be stopped due to unusual reasons. In 2017, New South Wales’ third game of Sheffield Shield had to be stopped for 30 minutes with fire alarm making a sound after Australian spinner Nathan Lyon burning a toast. The delay also saw NSW’s win being delayed for the said minutes.
“(The toast) popped up first and I wasn’t happy so I put it back down and I got carried away watching the cricket. There’s a first for everything,” he had said then.
The opening day of the 2019/20 Sheffield Shield also saw the comebacks of Steven Smith and David Warner to Australia’s domestic cricket. The duo missed the complete 2018/19 season after being banned by Cricket Australia for a period of one year. They had made their comeback to the national side ahead of World Cup 2019.
Cameron Bancroft, the third player to be banned by Cricket Australia, had returned to Australian cricket with Big Bash League in December last year.