Players returned to the middle after the lunch break on Thursday, in time for the scheduled 1.25pm start to the second session. But in unusual scenes, the two central umpires wouldn’t allow a ball to be bowled because Illingworth was unable to return to his post in the grandstand.
It left Australian batters David Warner and Steven Smith waiting to resume, with the hosts stuck on 6 for 2 in their second innings with an overall lead of 60.
After a few minutes the fourth umpire, Phil Gillespie, ran from the boundary into the third umpire’s box so that play could resume and Illingworth made his way a few moments later, giving a light-hearted wave as he sat down.
Cricket Australia and the MCG both produced light-hearted responses to the peculiar delay, which lasted seven minutes.
“The game is delayed because the third umpire…is stuck in the lift,” Cricket Australia’s social media arm posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The MCG was quick to reply: “Sorry.”
Channel Seven host Mel McLaughlin was also in the lift that became stuck and said that it took about 10 minutes for them to be left out