This is the wicket that is the talk of Victorian Premier Cricket. Pitches measure 22 yards. But the strip at Harry Trott Oval in Albert Park was marked out incorrectly and was eight feet too long on Saturday.
The mistake was confirmed only after the match between St Kilda and Footscray-Edgewater, when umpires Brad Davies and Chris James ran a measuring tape over it.
The Doggies bowled first and coach Steve Chapman said his players had their suspicions early, particularly opening bowler Hamish Winter-Irving, a curator.
Experienced leg-spinner Jeremy Hart also expressed his doubts.
Saints coach Glenn Lalor said his team spoke about the pitch only after stumps. He said leg-spinner James Muirhead complained he "couldn't land the ball, that he lost his length''.
Lalor said he had never seen or heard of anything like it in his many years of cricket. "I bowled slow enough, mate. I didn't need an extra eight feet. I would have been bowling backwards,'' he quipped.
Lalor can see the funny side of it. "It's actually quite comical,'' he said. "Things make sense now. I thought we bowled too short and I think we bowled 27 wides. Whether the wides had anything to do with the length of the pitch, I don't know.
"It was bizarre. It wasn't until after the game that someone said, 'Was the pitch too long … it looks a bit long'. Then the umpires had a look and thought, 'Well, maybe'. Then they measured it with a tape measure. Yeah, eight feet too long.''
Chapman said Winter-Irving whipped out a measuring tape as soon as he shook hands with the St Kilda players after the match. "He was yelling out, 'I told you it was too long!','' Chapman said.
Doggies batsmen Matt Underwood and Dylan Kight were both run out and were quick to point out to Chapman that they would have made their ground on a 22-yard wicket.
The Harry Trott wicket is prepared by a curation company on behalf of Cricket Victoria.
Yesterday it apologised to the clubs for "the embarrassing situation. "We pride ourselves on the high standards we set for our work and this indiscretion has and will no doubt dent our pride for some time,'' the company said.
You can read the full article from The Leader HERE