Firstly, let me preface this by stating that I have not seen any footage of this match, but am merely speculating based on what I have read.
Less than three weeks out from arguably the most prestigious cricket event of the Australian summer, the Boxing Day Test, the MCG hosted a Sheffield Sheid match between Victoria and Western Australia. The weather was fine, light was good, but on the first morning, after a mere 39.4 overs, play was abandoned. Why? The official reason was recorded as an unsafe pitch after a few deliveries popped up and struck batsman Marcus Stoinis.
Umpires gave groundstaff the opportunity to re-roll the pitch before play was scheduled the following morning, however it was decided that there had not been sufficient improvement in conditions.
The question I ask, and again, this is without seeing any footage of the game, is whether or not heavy bats and batting friendly conditions produced particularly for entertaining and high scoring T20 matches is harming the standard of World Cricket. Are these conditions conditioning batsmen against self preservation and instilling an unsafe level of confidence in how true the bounce of a bowler will be during matches?
I grew up in the days before T20 cricket, when Tests were considered the absoulte pinacle and 50 over matches rarely produced an innings over 250 - these days 250 is considered a low score. In those days we had bowlers like Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis terrorising batsmen worldwide. Players had to learn how to protect themselves first, bat themselves in and then score runs.
Whilst the fast and furious pace of high scoring matches is fantastic from a spectator perspective, and bums on seats means more gate revenue and merchandise sales, but what are we doing to our bowlers? Sure, nobody wants another Phil Hughes tragedy, but now it seems that when we get conditions that aren't like batting on the M1 Freeway, players panic and the game gets abandoned.
Let's get back to an even contest between bat and ball, where everyone gets to showcase their talent. What are your thoughts?