Sydney Thunder's Russell used a black bat in the match against Sydney Sixers    Getty Images
Sydney Thunder’s Russell used a black bat in the match against Sydney Sixers Getty Images

Every season, BBL comes with a different set of surprises and this time it is no exception. Andre Russell created news on Tuesday as he played for Sydney Thunder with a black bat against Sydney Sixers at the Spotless Stadium. However, right after his first appearance with the bat, Cricket Australia (CA) has withdrawn their approval for using the bat since the bat left marks on the white Kookaburra ball that was used during the match. This caused the discolouration of the ball, making it tougher to spot during the match. Russell had faced only 9 balls in the match.

“The Match Officials provided feedback to Cricket Australia that the bat used by Andre left black marks on the match ball. As a result, we have decided to withdraw our approval for Andre to use the bat that was used last night as the colour solution used by the manufacturer was discolouring the ball. Should Andre, or any other BBL or WBBL player for that matter, wish to use a bat with a different colouring solution to the one used last night that doesn t result in the discolouration of the match ball, they will be permitted to do so subject to Cricket Australia being satisfied that the bat won t compromise the integrity of the game, which we believe discolouring the match ball does,” Anthony Everard, head of BBL, told cricket.com.au.

READ: BBL Technical Committee approves change to Strikers and Scorchers squads

“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,” a CA official revealed.

Here’s what the manufacturers, Spartan Sports, have to say about the bat:

 

Sixers wicketkeeper Brad Haddin complained: “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.”

On-field umpires Paul Wilson and Jon Ward also noticed the ball getting discoloured during Russell s brief knock.

“It was a bit of a surprise, we didn’t see it coming. [Russell] had permission from Cricket Australia to use that bat, whether he gets to use it going forward will depend on whether Cricket Australia is happy with what it saw tonight,” said Wilson. Ward, on the other hand, opined: “After Andre was dismissed there was two black marks on the ball. If he stayed in for a long time it might pose a problem I’d say.”

It was only the last season of BBL when Chris Gayle was spotted sporting a golden bat.