Russell's black bat banned by Cricket Australia


Andre Russell turned heads when he used a black bat in Monday's Big Bash League opener, but Cricket Australia (CA) has told the Sydney Thunder all-rounder he must find alternative equipment.

Players are permitted to use coloured bats in the BBL, subject to CA approval, but Russell's weapon of choice has been banned.

Explaining the decision, CA's head of the Big Bash, Anthony Everard, said: "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 [Monday] as the colour solution used by the manufacturer was discolouring the ball.

"Should Andre, or any other BBL or WBBL [Women's Big Bash League] 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."

Former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was part of the Sydney Sixers side that beat the Thunder by nine wickets on Monday - and provided his view on Russell's bat during the game.

"With that black bat, the ball, if you have a close look at it, it has four black marks on it," Haddin told the Channel Ten commentary team while fielding.

"So if he had of batted for any time, it may have proven hard to see."