'Never seen this': Uproar over 'farcical' move on Big Bash final ball

·5-min read
The Sixers staff (pictured right) gesturing to his player and (pictured left) Jordan Silk walking off the field in the Big Bash Challenger Final.
The Sixers staff (pictured right) retired Jordan Silk (pictured left) on the final ball of the Big Bash Challenger Final. (Images: @BBL)

Cricket fans were left stunned during the Big Bash Challenger Final when the Sixers decided to retire an injured Jordan Silk on the final ball.

Young gun Hayden Kerr lifted a depleted Sydney Sixers into the BBL final, riding his luck in a career-best knock of 98 not out to secure a dramatic four-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers.

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The Sixers, bidding for a third straight crown, will meet rivals Perth Scorchers in Friday night's title-deciding match at Marvel Stadium.

However, it was the final ball that had everyone talking when the coaching staff made the decision to retire an injured Silk to put on another batter to run.

The Sixers needed to runs on the final delivery to surpass the Strikers' 167 total.

Silk had entered the crease earlier in the over and had scored one run off one ball.

However, with Kerr on Strike, the coaching staff waved down Silk and ordered him from the field knowing the pair might have to run twice.

Jay Lenton went on to bat at the non-strikers end.

Many fans took exception to this move as a ploy against the spirit of the game.

However, there is nothing in the rules against the tactic.

Following the drama, Aussie cricket great Mark Waugh claimed: “It’s in the rules but it’s probably not in the spirit of the game.”

Kerr went on to hit the winning runs to cement their spot in the BBL final.

Following the match, Sixers captain Moses Henriques defended the move as “clearly within the rules of the game”.

“Unfortunately, we had a guy go down with a hamstring, one of the fittest guys in the league. Probably something to do with our schedule and our five flights in eight days and so many back-to-back games…He normally bats five, so the fact that he’s gone in to bat at eight – I think we’re sacrificing enough as it is,” Henriques said.

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The Sixers attempted to sign former skipper Steve Smith for the entire finals series, only for CA to block the move after rival state associations raised objections.

The men in magenta tried again prior to Wednesday night's Challenger final because Josh Philippe contracted Covid-19 but failed, having to send out assistant coach Jay Lenton instead.

And they are almost certain to ask the question yet again after their dramatic final-ball win over Adelaide at the SCG.

Steve O'Keefe (calf), Jordan Silk (hamstring) and captain Moises Henriques (calf) suffered fresh injuries on Wednesday night, while Daniel Hughes (ankle) failed a pre-match fitness test.

Hayden Kerr (pictured) celebrates after scoring the winning runs during the Big Bash League Challenger.
Hayden Kerr (pictured) scores the winning runs during the Big Bash League Challenger between Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers at the SCG. (Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Philippe will miss the title-deciding clash with the Scorchers at Marvel Stadium.

Brothers Jack and Mickey Edwards will be on the final night of their isolation period, meaning they will also remain unavailable unless the Victoria government provide an exemption.

A glut of enforced omissions could potentially result in a CA rethink regarding Smith, who was expecting to be part of a limited-overs series against New Zealand that was ultimately postponed.

The issue is set to be discussed by powerbrokers on Thursday, when the depleted Sixers head south for their fifth title-deciding showdown with Perth.

with AAP

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