'Bad look': Thunder fume after light blight
Sydney Thunder coach calls for review after Gabba BBL clash abandonment due to power grid failure
Adam Burnett at the Gabba, Brisbane
18 January 2019, 07:32 AM AEST
Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond believes the Gabba power failure was "a bad look" for the KFC Big Bash after his side's clash with the Brisbane Heat was abandoned in the early stages of the second innings.
The drama occurred after the third over of the Heat's run chase, when the hosts were reeling at 2-10 in pursuit of the Thunder's 4-186, anchored by a maiden BBL hundred to Shane Watson.
As a result of a power grid failure in east Brisbane, two floodlights and a number of overhead lights surrounding one half of the ground went out and could not be fixed in time for play to resume – leaving the match officially abandoned and the two points evenly split.
Bond, who was until this season an assistant to Heat coach Dan Vettori and also former national teammates with the Kiwi legend, was frustrated by the turn of events, particularly given he felt the light was sufficient to continue play.
Conversely, the umpires decided that the reduced light posed a potential risk to players and fans.
"(I'm) disappointed with the circumstances of the finishing of the game," Bond said. "It's a bad look for the competition and I think there needs to be some reflection or review … particularly when you have the ability to finish a game of cricket – we could've had a 15-over game out there which I think everyone would've been happy with.
"We made an offer … we said we would in good faith play the entire (rest of the) game and bowl only our spinners, because (that would mean) we'd get the game in.
"It came from the powers above that Brisbane had to agree to it, so if Brisbane had agreed, the conditions would've been deemed safe.
"They obviously didn't want to play because they were in a bit of crap – which is fair enough, we would've done the same – but then the excuse from the match referee and umpires was that conditions were now unsafe. Which doesn't make any sense when if Brisbane had agreed it would have been (deemed) safe."
Vettori on the other hand said the decision-making process had been dictated – and ultimately determined – by the umpires.
"We took the cues from the match referee and the umpires," he said. "They said that they deemed that it wasn't right to play from a safety aspect.
"From us, it was more around performance. We understand that facing spinners was not going to be a safety reason, but it's just difficult to see the ball, it wasn't as easy and it's just not consistent conditions for both teams.
"A light tower went out – what can you do? I'd like to think if we were in a similar situation that we'd take a pragmatic attitude to it.
"I feel sorry for the match officials, they're under the most pressure, the most scrutiny around what's going on.
"They used their discretion around what was right and what was wrong, and they stuck to their guns."
Bond however, remained adamant that the match could have been finished had the Thunder's offer to bowl only spin been accepted.
"We didn't feel it was unsafe," he said. "If you looked at the lighting in the middle, it was perfectly fine to bowl spinners. There are grounds around the world that have worse lighting even with this light tower out, so that was disappointing.
"I thought it was a really poor night for the competition. The competition needs cricket, and to sit on your hands and do nothing is bad form."
The result leaves the Thunder in third position with nine points from nine matches, while the Heat are sixth, with seven points from eight matches.