Legends agree on huge BBL shake-up
THE only thing that could stop Nic Maddinson on Tuesday night was a dud call.
And that's exactly what got him in the end, when the Sydney Sixers' No.3 was marching towards one of the fastest centuries in Big Bash history.
And it sparked debate among three Australian legends about whether the time had come for the Big Bash League to join other forms of cricket and embrace the technology on offer by introducing the Decision Review System.
The BBL has so far spurned the chance to introduce DRS, arguing it would slow down the format's high-paced excitement.
Australian legend Ricky Ponting, however, argues that as the competition becomes one dominated by stars it is becoming imperative that the right decisions are made.
And that means DRS needs to come in.
"This game now really hinges on your star players - and mainly as batters they're at the top of the order," Ponting said in commentary for Channel 10.
"The umpires will go to the third umpire for run-outs and stumpings, which does take up a little bit of time in the game as well.
"I can't see why they wouldn't have just one in there for that really important decision in the game."
Maddinson had already ripped an incredible six-boundary over off James Faulkner, and has scorched his way to 61 from just 25 balls when he saw the index finger go up and his night called early.
Three sixes. Nine fours.
It was a batting masterclass - right up until he was struck on the pads by Melbourne Stars skipper John Hastings and was quickly send packing.
The immediate reaction in the commentary box was one of disappointment. Australian coach Darren Lehmann suspected Hastings' delivery had pitched outside leg stump - something he'd seen plenty of as a left-hander of considerable class during his playing days.
"That's a perfect example. As a batsman, as a left-hander, Hastings is not swinging it back in…" explained Lehmann, who agreed DRS would be a wise addition to the BBL.
"So to hit the stumps it's got to be really full like that - and it still pitched outside leg."
Legendary wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist believed it needn't be time consuming.
"And you think you'd be able to review that really quickly," he said.
"Just a quick look at that - a quick answer, carry on."
It's not the first time this summer that DRS has come into sharp focus following a controversial decision.
On New Year's Eve, the Brisbane Heat were left fuming when Chris Lynn was dismissed caught behind off Adelaide Strikers' Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan - with replays suggesting the ball had missed the bat entirely on its way to the keeper.
National selector Mark Waugh was decidedly unimpressed.
"No, he's hit the ground. Don't think he's hit that," Waugh said in commentary
"I think he's played inside that. Big, big decision. It seemed too full to be an edge but there was noise."
Waugh suggested it was only a matter of time before rules were changed to allow time for DRS.
"If you can do it quickly, yes. Give them 30 seconds, maybe," Waugh said. "One look at a Hotspot would clarify that pretty quickly, wouldn't it? It's not to be. Chris Lynn had to cop it. He did accept it.
"It was a big blow, a telling blow for the Brisbane Heat."