SYDNEY: Cricket Australia Friday suspended the use of flame throwers used to signal boundaries or when a wicket falls at Twenty20 internationals after a close call in a match this week.
Australia captain Aaron Finch was shocked when he came within a metre (yard) of a burst of the pyrotechnic display as he went to get the ball from just over the Adelaide Oval boundary line against South Africa on Wednesday.
Finch had deliberately stalled collecting the ball, knowing that flames are shot to mark boundaries.
But when nothing initially happened he assumed it was safe to approach, only for a flame to blast out as he neared.
After the seven-wicket loss to the Proteas, Finch called for more care to be taken with boundary line gimmicks.
The incident, caused by human error, was a clear breach of operating procedures, which CA said were now being reviewed.
CA’s executive general manager of operations Mike McKenna said the safety of players and fans was the board’s highest priority.
“We were very concerned by what took place at the Adelaide Oval and as a result we’re now reviewing the operating and safety protocols of the flame units,” he said in a statement.
“Until such time as we’re satisfied that there won’t be a repeat incident, we will not be using flame units as part of any match presentation.
“The way that we present our events and the experience we create for our fans is really important and we will continue to explore innovative ways of doing this, particularly for international and domestic Twenty 20 matches.”
CA said that separate pyrotechnics that line the players’ entrance to the field of play would continue at Friday’s second T20 match against the Proteas in Melbourne.