New Delhi: The sixth edition of Big Bash League (BBL) was off to a flying start as defending champions Sydney Thunder were thrashed by fellow franchise Sydney Sixers by nine wickets. But it was West Indian batsman Andre Russell who drew all attention by coming on field holding a black and pink coloured bat.
Russell, who earned the reputation of an all-rounder over past few years by also playing the role of 'Pinch-hitter in Indian Premier League (IPL), came out to bat on number seven with his unique coloured bat, with which he scored 9 runs off 7 deliveries.
As a result, it also drew flak from fellow players. Forner Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin raised question on the legality of the bat. He was of the opinion that the colour of the bat had bad effects on white ball, since the bat left black marks on the ball.
"With that black bat, the ball, if you have a close look at it, it has four black marks on it. So if he had of batted for any time, it may have proven hard to see," Haddin was quoted as saying to news.com.au.
At first, Cricket Australia cleared doubts about usage of coloured bats in tournament by saying that a player can use a coloured bat that either was painted in the club's primary colours, or was black in colour. However, they announced later on that it was banned after it was found out that it discoloured the ball.
Notably, Russell's compatriot Chris Gayle also used coloured bats in previous seasons but officials found them to be well within the range of rules as they didn’t interfere with the colour of the ball.