'Absolute joke': Aussie cricket fans fume over 'ridiculous' farce

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Aussie cricket fans have bemoaned the lack of DRS in the BBL after controversy erupted just four balls into the new season.

Usman Khawaja appeared to be plumb lbw on Tuesday night in the Sydney Thunder’s win over Brisbane Heat in the season opener.

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However the on-field umpire turned down the appeal and the Heat didn’t have the option of using the Decision Referral System.

The umpire appeared to think Khawaja had hit the ball onto his pads, but replays showed he should have been given out.

The league’s stance on the DRS immediately came back to bite them - and fans were furious.

Of particular annoyance was the fact that a new ‘tactical timeout’ is in place this season.

Both teams used their timeouts at the first opportunity on Tuesday night - after seven overs in their batting innings.

The first timeout used in the BBL. Image: Fox Sports

One of the main arguments for not having DRS is that it would use up too much time and spoil the fast-paced nature of T20 cricket.

Yet fans were left gobsmacked that timeouts didn’t fall in that same category.

Many on social media derided the 90-second breaks, during which a player and coach can come on to the field to discuss strategy, as nothing more than an opportunity for the host broadcasters to have an extra ad break during play.

Thunder coach Shane Bond was a vocal critic of the lack of DRS before the season started.

“Last year there were a number of decisions that took away from the cricket,” Bond told Foxsports.com.au.

“In our game, one ball can make a difference. I would like to take the pressure of the umpires and have a one challenge system.”

Usman Khawaja was lucky to survive. Image: Fox Sports

Callum Ferguson stars in season opener

An unbeaten half-century by captain Callum Ferguson lifted the Thunder to a 29-run win at the Gabba.

The 35-year-old got the first chance to wear the Golden Cap as the tournament's leading run-scorer in the field after belting 73 not out off just 44 balls.

Ferguson's innings helped the Thunder recover from 3-38 early in their innings to set a victory target of 173 for the Heat.

Alex Ross (30 off 26) and Chris Green (25 off 17) provided support to Ferguson after their underwhelming start, and that rebuild was vital in the captain's opinion.

"You don't plan to win the toss and lose three in the powerplay too often. I knew the stats on that aren't great so it was really important that Rossy and I put together a good partnership without taking our foot off the gas," he said.

In reply the Heat were dismissed for 143 off 19.2 overs.

with AAP