Cricket world rages in Big Bash farce
ALEX Ross had no idea the controversy he was about to unleash on the Big Bash when he tried to scamper back for a quick second run during the Hurricanes' controversial four-run win over the Brisbane Heat on Wednesday night.
The entire game has erupted over the controversial decision which saw Ross become the first batsman in the Big Bash to be dismissed for obstructing the fielding side.
Chasing 180 for an unlikely victory, Heat batsman Ross was hit by a return throw while scampering for a second run, the ball deflecting off his body into the stumps as he made his ground.
Initially appealing for a run-out, Hobart captain George Bailey then queried if Ross had purposely changed his line and obstructed the field, to which the third umpire agreed. A bemused Ross was given out, with the Heat eventually falling four runs short of victory after Hobart's D'Arcy Short struck a BBL-record unbeaten 122 earlier in the night.
Rules state a player can be given out for wilfully obstructing the fielding side by word or action.
However, a batsman is not out if that obstruction is accidental or to avoid injury.
The decision has completely divided the game.
Aussie cricket legends Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh Waugh were left stunned by the decision to send Ross packing after the Hurricane's controversial appeal.
The pair were convinced that there was too much doubt about Ross' intentions for the umpires to have judged he deliberately put himself in the line of fire.
Waugh told Channel 10 in commentary he had a sick feeling in his stomach that the umpires would judge Ross out.
"It's interesting. He wasn't looking at the ball, though," Waugh said.
"I think he was trying to get out the way of the ball. Looks like he was trying to run away from it.
"I've got a bad feeling here. I had a very bad feeling about that.'
Gilchrist was adamant there was no evidence for the umpires to be certain that Ross had deliberately got in the way.
"Oh, my goodness. I'm stunned," he said.
"I cannot believe that.
"To me, he hasn't looked. He hasn't turned around to where the line of the throw was. He knew the general vicinity that the throw was coming from, but can you tell me he's purposefully got in the way of that ball? I don't think so."
Gilchrist said after the game he personally wouldn't have carried on with the appeal as Bailey did.
"I understand George Bailey, but I wouldn't have personally," he told Channel 10.
"He said they saw the replay and said, 'is that a change in direction?'
"So they've planted the seed at least. Maybe the third-umpire was already looking at that, which is fine. The officials know the rules better than anyone. But that certainly didn't come into my mind."
Heat captain Brendon McCullum gunned Bailey - when the Hobart Hurricanes skipper was standing right next to him during the post match interviews on Channel 10.
Clearly seething over Bailey's decision to appeal against Ross, McCullum admitted he was prepared to be fined by Big Bash officials to convey his frustration over the sensational decision.
The Channel 10 cameras also captured the moment McCullum confronted Bailey on the field after the game, passionately explaining his point of view to his rival.
McCullum told Channel 10 he wanted Hobart to wave away their appeal against Ross.
"Personally I thought it wasn't the right decision," he said.
"If I get fined for saying that fair play, but I think everyone that's here and everyone that's watched the game didn't think it was the right decision. He wasn't running in the way of the ball. He wasn't impeding it. I was disappointed that the appeal was upheld, but I guess, Hobart can take the points. I think the rest of the game was brilliant. I actually thought they deserved to win, it's just a shame that it was marred by that."
McCullum took the high ground following the win, saying his counterpart Bailey may regret not calling Ross back to the crease.
He said Bailey missed an opportunity to uphold the spirit of cricket.
"From our point of view I felt frustrated with that decision,'' McCullum said.
"Personally I don't think it was the right decision. We are not righteous in our stance on the spirit of the game but every now and then you get a chance to stand up to the spirit of cricket and tonight George and the Hurricanes missed that opportunity."
The pair, who have both captained their country, were engaged in a long discussion following the game and were tense but civil exchanging their views in a combined television interview that followed.
"We debated the philosophical merits of one another points but in the end my view of it and his view of it may have altered,'' McCullum said.
"I don't really care what the rules are. To me it is one of those grey areas like the Mankad. To me it falls into the spirit of the game and I was making that point to George.
"I don't really care what the rules are, to me it is one of those grey areas like the Mankad," McCullum said.
"To me it falls into the spirit of the game and I was making that point to George.
"Sometimes there are opportunities which are more important than the two points."
Bailey confirmed after the game hid team did call for the umpires to check for a possible obstruction.
"I appealed for the run out and then we saw the replay and saw that Rossy had changed his angle, we asked has he changed his line?" Bailey said.
"Can you check for obstructing the field as well? And then we were waiting the umpires decision and in our positions waiting."