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Melbourne Test: Delayed start as umpire gets stuck in lift

In cricket, delays in starting the game have often been due to various unusual reasons. The delayed start to the second session on the third day of the Melbourne Test match today was due to yet another peculiar incident!

After Pakistan got all out for 264 runs in their first innings, Australia found themselves at 2 wickets for 6 runs in their second innings at lunch. As the break concluded, players and umpires took the field, but the start of play got delayed. According to ABC News, in the live coverage of the match, it was revealed that the game was delayed due to umpire Richard Illingworth getting stuck in the lift. Illingworth couldn’t make it to the third umpire’s room in time. The standby umpire, Phillip Gillespie, had to rush from the boundary line to the third umpire’s room. Eventually, the game commenced after a delay of several minutes from the scheduled start time.

The live coverage of the match by Sydney Morning Herald reported that through the umpires, the players were informed about the delayed start. Illingworth eventually emerged from the lift after a brief period. A video published on cricket.com.au’s ‘X’ handle showed Illingworth seen taking his seat on the chair.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan commented on Illingworth’s lift incident, saying, “It’s a slow lift. We use it. I know what’s being said about it.”

The Melbourne Test witnessed frustration over delays in play on the third day from Mark Waugh and Ian Smith. Nine News reported that after Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq was hit on the shoulder by a bouncer early in the play, he received initial treatment alongside an undefeated Mohammad Rizwan at the other end. Commentator and former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith told Fox Cricket, “I can’t understand why drinks are being taken. Only 25 minutes of play has happened after the start.”

After Rizwan received treatment, the play was halted for a few more minutes. Frustrated, Smith further added, “There are three Pakistan batsmen (out there for service). Now even the Australians are delaying drinks. Only about 25 minutes of play has happened, and nearly 25,000 spectators are wondering why the game isn’t continuing? Light rain has started.”

Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh agreed with Smith’s annoyance at the time, saying, “It’s bizarre! You can’t stop the game for a shoulder (hit).”

Due to light rain in Melbourne, the start of play on the third day was delayed by almost 15 minutes. Weather interruptions had caused only about 12 overs of play on the second day. And on the first day, nearly one-third of the scheduled time for play was lost, with only 66 overs being bowled.

Until the reporting of this update on the third day of the Melbourne Test, Australia has scored 46 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in their second innings. Pat Cummins’ team holds a lead of 100 runs. Michael Marsh and Steve Smith were at the crease.

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