WBBL third umpire absence in question

Melbourne Stars veteran Erin Osborne has queried why a third umpire isnt officiating in more Womens Big Bash League games, calling on Cricket Australia to bolster the use of technology in the competition.

The Stars lost a thrilling derby to the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, falling by one wicket as the Renegades got home with a ball to spare.

The run chase featured several tight run-out calls, which needed to be adjudicated on by the on-field umpires without the aid of replays.

Stars veteran Erin Osborne.

Stars veteran Erin Osborne.Credit:AAP

The match was a curtain-raiser to the Renegades-Sydney Sixers Big Bash League match, which was broadcast on Foxtel.


However the womens game was not televised, instead streamed live on cricket.com.au. Under the new television rights deal, 23 WBBL games this season are being shown live on the Seven Network, with the remainder available to be watched live on the CA website.

Osborne, who has played two Tests, 60 one-day internationals and 59 Twenty20 internationals for Australia, questioned the absence of a third umpire on Saturday.

“Especially given the context of our competition. Two points, where both teams sit, is pretty crucial, and there were some close decisions being made,” Osborne said on Monday.

“Given the resources that were available at that ground, Im not sure why we cant have a third umpire. There was a mens match after which was televised and they had that as an option. In the future it would be nice to have those resources available for all womens games.”

CA explained the reasons behind the lack of third umpire.

“Cricket Australia appoint a third umpire from its panel of umpires for all televised CA sanctioned matches,” a CA spokesperson said.

“A third umpire isnt appointed to non-broadcast WBBL matches as the technology is not available. This is the same for all other mens and womens non-broadcast matches.”

The Stars and Renegades will renew hostilities at the MCG on Tuesday before the men's derby that night. Both sides desperately need a win to keep pace with the top four, with the Stars entering the match on eight points from nine matches and the Renegades on seven points from eight matches. Neither Victorian outfit has yet made the WBBL finals.

Osborne will captain the Stars, with regular skipper Kristen Beams rested. The Stars managing the workload on Beams' previously injured Achilles tendon.

Beams has meanwhile received a strike for the Stars slow over rate in Saturdays game. Three strikes trigger a one-match suspension. All members of the Stars XI from Saturdays game have also been fined $125.

Squads: Stars: Erin Osborne (C), Elly Donald, Mignon du Preez, Georgia Elwiss, Nicole Faltum, Holly Ferling, Nicola Hancock, Alana King, Lizelle Lee, Katie Mack, Chloe Rafferty, Angela Reakes, Annabel Sutherland

Renegades: Amy Satterthwaite (C), Maitlan Brown, Jess Duffin, Emma Inglis, Erica Kershaw, Claire Koski, Sophie Molineux, Molly Strano, Lea Tahuhu, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb, Danni Wyatt

Daniel is an Age sports reporter.

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