Andre Russell has been cleared to use his controversial black and pink cricket bat in Australia’s Big Bash. He was originally banned from using the bat after leaving black marks on the cricket ball during a Sydney Thunder versus Sydney Sixers match in December.
Anthony Everard of the Big Bash explained that ‘a clear laminate cover has been applied to the bat’ in order to clear it for use in the rest of the tournament. The ruling from Cricket Australia states that players can use a coloured cricket bat in the Big Bash tournament as long as the colour is the same as the primary colour of their team’s kit, or is black.
During the match where questions were initially raised Russell scored nine off seven balls during a nine-wicket loss. It is in many ways lucky that Russell wasn’t involved in a controversial moment, or high scoring winning team, which would have led to more pressure for the ban to be upheld.
A debate over the legitimisation of a coloured cricket bat is one that wouldn’t have been fathomable even a decade ago, when the one-day international cricket format was hugely successful, including coloured kits but pretty much standard cricket equipment across the board.
The problem is a very modern one, and would confuse the great cricketers of the past. Much like we’ve got used to seeing footballers all wearing multi-coloured football boots, and rugby players in coloured scrum caps (even as backs with no apparent need for a cap), it seems like multi-colours equipment has taken a while longer to take hold in cricket. Cricket equipment whether used for the long-form traditional game, or for the shorter one-day or T-20 formats should be bought to be comfortable for the user first and foremost. Always be careful to take your time and choose the right cricket bat for your needs, ability, size and shape.