Andre Russell will be allowed to use his black and pink bat again in the Big Bash League, after Cricket Australia expressed satisfaction with the modifications made to it.
Russell had unveiled the black willow with a pink handle in Sydney Thunder’s inaugural Big Bash League 2016-17 game against Sydney Sixers on December 20, but it was outlawed by the BBL technical committee following feedback from match officials that it left black marks on the ball.
“Andre has worked with his bat manufacturer to modify the bat,” said Anthony Everard, head of the BBL. “A clear laminate cover has been applied to the bat which complies with regulations to ensure the ball discolouration does not occur again.
“We’re now satisfied that the bat will not compromise the integrity of the game by discolouring the match ball and we have granted approval for Andre to use the bat in any future BBL matches.”
BBL and WBBL rules allow a player to use a willow of the same colour as the club’s primary colour, or black. The board has the discretion to withdraw approval and umpires can request a player to change the bat if they believe it affects the integrity of the match.
The tournament has, in the past, seen batsmen experiment with the colours of their bats. Chris Gayle walked out with a golden bat while turning out for Melbourne Renegades and Aiden Blizzard used an electric green piece of wood for Thunder last season.