A Big Bash League clash between the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder has been abandoned after a power outage in Brisbane saw the Gabba’s floodlights shut down.
- One side of the Gabba lost lights after three overs of the Heat’s chase
- The Heat were 2-10 with their best batsmen dismissed when the lights went out
The Thunder belted 4-186 off their 20 overs, powered by a Shane Watson century — the first of the season — and the Heat were in all sorts at 2-10, with big hitters Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum, after three overs when the stadium started going dark.
Many, but not all, of the stadium’s lights went out as homes in the surrounding suburbs of East Brisbane and Woolloongabba lost power.
Ultimately the match was abandoned and the Thunder were clearly upset, with Watson reluctantly shaking hands with match officials after it was made official.
“There has been a power outage occur which has interrupted play,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said. “This is being looked into as a priority. Further updates will be provided in due course.”
The outage was part of a wider problem, affecting the entire east Brisbane area and leaving the prospect of further play in serious doubt.
Thunder skipper Watson and coach Shane Bond were in animated discussion with umpires during the delay, as officials were left scratching their heads and awaiting further updates from electricity company Energex.
— Brisbane Heat (@HeatBBL) January 17, 2019
The match was officially called after 9pm local time, with two teams awarded one point each. It represents a major blow for the Thunder, who had looked in the box seat to record their fifth win of the tournament.
Fans had attempted to alleviate the problem by collectively shining the torches on their phones towards the middle.
We’d only bowl our spinners, said Thunder’s coach Shane Bond
Thunder coach Shane Bond said he would happily bowl spinners so as to not endanger the Heat batsmen.
“We think it’s safe enough to play,” he told Fox Sports.
“At ten past or 11 past nine the game is over,” Bond explained.
“We’ve said in good faith we’d only bowl our spinners. We think it’s safe enough to play. The word is for us that Brisbane had to agree to it, they’ve said no, obviously being in trouble.”
The word is for us that Brisbane had to agree to it [and] they’ve said no, obviously being in trouble.
The umpires have said ‘we’re going to lean with Brisbane, we think it’s unsafe.
“I think it’s poor. The lights are fine in terms of the boundary [and] in the middle.”
Brisbane batsman Brendon McCullum, said playing on was not sensible.
“What if someone gets hit in the crowd?” McCullum said.
“There’s health and safety issues.”
Thunder hint at appealing decision
Bond also said he did not see why the Heat got to have a say on the matter when umpires make executive decisions when rain affects matches.
He also confirmed match officials told him the safety concerns were more for fielders and the crowd than for the batsmen.