'Disgusting stuff': Controversy erupts over Big Bash star's 'violent' act

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Haris Rauf has caused a stir in the Big Bash with his controversial throat-slitting wicket celebration.

Performances of 2-20, 5-27 and 3-24 have pushed him up to third on the competition's leading wicket taking list despite playing just three of the ladder-leading Melbourne Stars' five games.

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Originally recruited from Hobart club cricket as cover for injured South African great Dale Steyn, 26-year-old Rauf has proven much more than a fill in.

Haris Rauf celebrates taking a wicket during the Melbourne Stars' clash with Sydney Thunder. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

However his wicket-taking exploits have been somewhat overshadowed by the way he celebrates them.

The Pakistani often makes a throat-slitting gesture after dismissing a batsman, as well as pretending to cut them down with two slashes of a sword.

He continued the trend on Thursday in the Stars’ win over Sydney Thunder.

The celebration is often met with laughter from his teammates, but some on social media aren’t happy.

Former Big Bash presenter Tim Gossage said: “May be time for someone from the Stars to get to Haris Rauf and stop with the throat slitting gesture or have I missed something?”

Rugby league great Darryl Brohman also thought the celebration was a bit much, writing:

“Not sure we need the throat cutting gesture from Harris Rauf everytime he takes a wicket. Clearly a very good bowler but the post wicket antics are over the top.”

And they weren’t alone.

However there were plenty more who didn’t see any problems with it.

Rauf giving stars plenty to ponder

His wickets have come at a paltry average of 7.1 and he boasts a frugal economy rate of 5.91 runs per over.

Thursday's game was the first in which Steyn and Rauf have played together and the South African's return to fitness means the Stars face a potential selection quandary .

Teams are only allowed to field two imports in a BBL match with Nepalese leggie Sandeep Lamichhane playing four games so far and Steyn and Rauf three each.

Lamichhane was rested from Thursday's game due to an injury, with the aim of returning for Saturday's Melbourne Derby.

Larkin was a big contributor to the Stars' win on Thursday, scoring a fluent 65 off 45 balls, his maiden half century in 11 T20 innings against senior opposition.

Like Rauf, 29-year-old Larkin has had to battle for a spot in the Stars' side this season, having been dismissed for a first-ball duck in his only previous BBL game this season.

"I know I can play at this level and there's plenty of good players around me so it makes me free up and do my best work," Larkin said.

with AAP