Moises Henriques and Lisa Sthalekar cop backlash over comments on Tom Curran incident

The controversy around the Sydney Sixers player's actions in the BBL is rumbling on.

Moises Henriques and Lisa Sthalekar in the BBL.
Moises Henriques and Lisa Sthalekar have both tried to defend Tom Curran's actions in the BBL. Image: Getty

Moises Henriques and Lisa Sthalekar are copping it from cricket fans after defending Tom Curran over his actions towards an umpire in the BBL. English player Curran, who plays for the Sydney Sixers, has been slugged with a four-match ban for 'intimidating' an official.

Curran was charged with a level-three offence under clause 2.17 in the code of conduct, with the charge stemming from an incident during the warm-up before the Sixers' clash with the Hobart Hurricanes in Launceston on December 11. In footage released by Channel 7 on Thursday night, Curran could be seen being told off by the umpire for running on the pitch before the game - which is against the rules in professional cricket.

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The umpire then blocked Curran's path as he attempted another practice run towards the pitch, with Curran running straight at the official before deviating at the very last minute. The Sixers are appealing the ban and hope to have Curran back to face the Melbourne Stars on Boxing Day.

Discussing the situation on Friday night before their game against the Adelaide Strikers, Sixers captain Henriques went in to bat for his player. "It's been a pretty tough time for TC (Curran) over the past 11 or 12 days sitting on this," Henriques told Fox Cricket.

"Knowing what he's like, he's taken this to heart and he's really worried about the assassination of his character. (Umpire intimidation is) a big claim, so I'm wishing him the best."

Henriques said he believes the footage lacks context, and he was confused about the decision to impose such a long ban. "I'm very surprised," he said. "We obviously don't condone any untoward behaviour towards the umpire or any umpiring staff, but I still can't quite understand the decision.

"I just can't help but think we haven't quite understood the context of the altercation. (Curran) is a great man. He's a real leader in the community, he's a leader amongst our team. I'm still struggling to comprehend that penalty for what he's done."

Tom Curran (centre) and Moises Henriques (R) in action for the Sydney Sixers. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)
Tom Curran (centre) and Moises Henriques (R) in action for the Sydney Sixers. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Lisa Sthalekar under fire over comments about Tom Curran

Sthalekar, who previously played for the Sixers in the BBL, also moved to defend Curran on Thursday night during the Channel 7 broadcast. The former Australian women's player said Curran might not have heard what the umpire was saying, while also claiming the official was partly to blame.

"You could hear the ground announcer, there's a lot of voices," she said in relation to the level of noise that might have hampered Curran. "We've got the stump mics so we can hear [what the umpire said].

"There's a lot of gesturing. I don't know if he could actually hear all of that (what the umpire was saying). I think there was an element of two guys not letting go of their egos."

But Brad Hodge interjected and said: "Right of wrong you cannot intimidate an umpire. That is as bad as it gets."

Sthalekar's name was trending on social media on Friday, with cricket fans and commentators in disbelief that she was trying to defend Curran's actions. Journalist Mark Gottlieb commented: "Pretty disappointing to hear someone as experienced as Lisa Sthalekar try to defend that. Incredulous that she’s trying to claim Curran didn’t hear and that the umpire was partly to blame. Ump just doing his job. To insinuate he ‘wasn’t letting go of his ego’ is absurd."

Another fan added: "Why is Lisa Sthalekar defending him?? His actions are deplorable. Intimidating an umpire is unacceptable."

Henriques also came in for some criticism on Friday night over his comments. Fans were quick to question whether the Sixers captain could be impartial considering he is Curran's teammate.

with AAP

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