Russell unveils outrageous black bat
Cricket Australia confirms West Indian's bat is within the rules of the Big Bash League
Sam Ferris at Spotless Stadium, Sydney
20 December 2016, 09:32 PM AEST
Andre Russell’s black and pink bat raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday night but Cricket Australia has confirmed the bat is well within the KFC Big Bash League playing conditions.
Report & Highlights: Sixers take on the Thunder in Sydney
Russell made nine from seven balls batting at No.7 for the Thunder on the opening night of BBL|06 wielding a bat with a black blade and pink handle, prompting mic’d up Sixers wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to ask whether the bat was legal.
According to a CA spokesperson, "A player can use a coloured bat subject to CA approval. The bat may be the same colour as the Club’s primary colour, or black. CA retains the right to withdraw approval in its absolute discretion. The umpires can also request a player change the bat if they believe it affects the integrity of the match."
It’s not the first time the BBL has seen a batsman bring out the paint brush and use a coloured bat.
Russell’s Thunder teammate Aiden Blizzard used an electric green bat against the Sixers in January this year, while former Melbourne Renegades power hitter Chris Gayle swung a gold bat in BBL|05.
The rule which currently stands, that a player must use the Club’s primary colour or black, was brought in after last summer. Gayle was given permission to use the gold bat by CA.
Bats have been in the headlines in recent times after the MCC World Cricket Committee recommended size restrictions on the edges and depths of a bat.
But injured Thunder captain Shane Watson says batsmen should not be punished for using bigger bats and it's the bowlers who need to evolve along with bat technology.
"I don't think there should be bat restrictions because in the end the game's always moving forward," Watson told cricket.com.au.
"Bat companies are always trying to find a competitive advantage. As long as they're legal, as in there's not cork or anything (illegal) in them, then you can't restrict the size of a bat.
"Someone like Chris Gayle uses a three pound bat, so his bats are naturally going to be bigger but he's strong enough to be able to lift a bat like that.
"You've got to be better as a bowler.
"There's always ways you can try and (avoid) the middle of the bat of a batsman when you're bowling.
"Some days are better than others, but there's always ways and that's the skill of a bowler to try and evolve and get better."