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Spencer Johnson award detail in BBL final presentation sparks swift backlash

Aussie cricket fans couldn't get enough of the medal in the BBL final presentation.

Australian cricket fans have lost it after Spencer Johnson (pictured right) was awarded a KFC player-of-the-match medal after the Big Bash League final. (Image: Channel 7)
Australian cricket fans have lost it after Spencer Johnson (pictured right) was awarded a KFC player-of-the-match medal after the Big Bash League final. (Image: Channel 7)

Australian cricket fans have lost it after Spencer Johnson was awarded a rather unusual medal for his player-of-the-match performance in a thrilling Big Bash League final. The Brisbane Heat prevailed over the Sydney Sixers on Wednesday night with the 54-run win secured due to a brilliant bowling performance from the away team.

Youngster Johnson led the attack with 4-26 having recovered after a brutal first over. Johnson and the Heat ripped through the Sixers middle order and the team were never able to recover chasing a solid total of 167 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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After the match, Johnson was awarded the player of the match honours having turned the tide when coming back on for his second spell. His 4-26 is the best ever figures in a BBL final. However, having got up on stage during the trophy ceremony, Aussie cricket fans couldn't help notice the giant KFC medal hanging around Johnson's neck.

The medal resembled a bucket of chicken with KFC across it. When Johnson left stage, he took a photo with his medal and the winner's medal for the BBL. And while advertisement is part of all sport, fans did not hold back on the image.

Many fans joked they would like to 'purchase' the medal to wear while eating KFC. Others hoped it allowed Johnson free KFC for life if he wears the medal.

While there was plenty of jokes flying around over the image, many labelled the move 'embarrassing' for a tournament that is trying to win back its fans after a major overhaul of the competitions schedule. One fan described it as the 'lamest' medal they had seen in sport. Regardless, KFC was front and centre during the awards ceremony and offered a donation on behalf of Johnson to the KFC Youth Foundation.

Spencer Johnson praised for classy Steve O'Keefe gesture

Johnson's superb spell of 4-26 wiped out any hope the Sixers had of chasing down the target, as the career of Sixers veteran Steve O'Keefe came to a sad end. Xavier Bartlett dismissed O’Keefe to wrap up the convincing win for the visitors, with Johnson immediately going over to congratulate the spinner on his career, before joining the rest of his team to celebrate the victory.

Brisbane Heat's Spencer Johnson celebrates.
Brisbane Heat's Spencer Johnson (pictured middle) was the star in his team's win over the Sydney Sixers in th BBL Final. (Photo by Pete Dovgan/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fans praised Johnson for the classy gesture towards his retiring rival, with the Heat star revealing after the match what he said to O'Keefe. “I went and spoke to ‘Sokky’ – he’s had an unbelievable career. He’s owned this stadium, so went to him first,” Johnson said. "Now we’re going to enjoy this one tonight.”

O'Keefe needed two scalps on Wednesday night to finish his career with 100 wickets in the BBL, but ultimately fell one short in another sad moment for the veteran. The 39-year-old did claim the prized scalp of Brown, however, trapping him LBW after another fine display with the bat for the Heat opener.

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