Shane Warne has unloaded on the Melbourne Stars after they suffered another extraordinary finals collapse in the Big Bash.
It was a familiar tale for the Stars in their qualifying final against the Sydney Sixers at the MCG on Friday night, crumbling to be all-out for 99 - the lowest score in their history.
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The dramatic collapse prompted Australian cricket legend Warne to slam the team he captained for the first three BBL seasons.
"Once again they are not handling the pressure of a final. This is ordinary," Warne said while commentating on Fox Sports.
“They haven’t played for a week, remember they said we’re resting players, we’re changing our batting orders and they’ve lost three games in a row.
“They come and play one game in the last week and now they’ve got six days before they play another game when it’s all about what went wrong again, why are we doing this in finals and all those questions.
“The only way they can do it is to win a game. Otherwise you’re going to have to keep facing those questions because that’s fact, it’s not someone trying to be nasty or anything like that, we just put up the facts.”
Warne also took aim at Peter Handscomb after the Stars batsman commented during the game that Warne was being over-critical.
“Peter Handscomb had a go at me when I said it was all about the Melbourne Stars, who are in the final, can their big men stand up and he had a go at me because he thought I was being unfair,” he said.
“You can have a go at me as much as you like but facts are facts.
“Last year in the final, you lost 7/19 against Finchy’s mob, what do you call that? That’s a choke. 53 runs off 43 balls with 10 wickets in hand. You should in them 95-96 times out of 100.”
Shane Warne’s having a real crack at Melbourne Stars’ record in finals. Won 2, lost 7. “Facts are facts.”— Andrew Wu (@wutube) January 31, 2020
Haven’t heard him mention he was captain for three of those seasons. #BBL09
Stars’ history of finals failure
The Stars have made the finals in eight of the nine BBL seasons, but are one of only two teams - along with Hobart - who are yet to win a title.
They collapsed with 7-19 in last year's decider to fail chasing the Melbourne Renegades' 5-145.
Despite an overall record of 51-43 - the second best in the BBL behind three-time champions Perth on 55-41 - the Stars' post-season record is 2-8.
It heaps significant pressure on the Stars, who finished the regular season on top of the ladder, leading into their sudden-death match on Thursday.
They will host the winner of Saturday's match between Adelaide and the Sydney Thunder for a shot at a rematch with the Sixers in the decider at the SCG.
"We've got to consider all options now. We've underperformed the last four games so all options are on the table," Hussey told reporters.
"I'll go around to each player and ask them some hard-hitting questions, some confronting questions but we were completely outplayed.
"To put in a batting performance like that wasn't good enough and not the way the Stars want to play the game.
"I think you'll find each individual player will come out a different style of player (on Thursday)."
The Stars opened the season with a 10-1 record to seal top spot, but dropped their last three matches heading into the finals.
To rub salt into the wounds, the crowd for the Stars' clash with the Sixers was a paltry 13,275.