Melbourne Stars batsman David Hussey says skipper Shane Warne’s shirt-grabbing performance was inspirational.
Others have described it as childish and the act of a 43-year-old schoolyard bully.
Hussey, a hard-nosed competitor who grew up in Perth having backyard scraps with his brother and Test great Mike, found himself at the centre of a scandal in Sunday’s BBL clash at the MCG.
Melbourne Renegades allrounder Marlon Samuels blocked batsman Hussey’s path and tugged on his shirt as Hussey turned for a run.
Then when it was Samuels’ turn to bat, Warne hurled abuse at the West Indies international and grabbed Samuels’ shirt to show his disgust at his rival’s actions.
Legspin legend Warne received a one-match ban for the act, a punishment Hussey claimed was over the top. Samuels is yet to face his own disciplinary hearing.
Hussey says Warne is a tactical genius and his true colours will be on show in next week’s semi-finals.
“The other night (on Sunday) he just proved to everybody that he’s got a will to win,” Hussey said on Wednesday.
“He’s passionate. He probably overstepped the line a little bit.
“Come semi-final time it will be no different. Mark my words, he’ll get four for 20 off his four overs and win the game for the Melbourne Stars.
“Both teams probably overstepped the mark a little bit. It probably wasn’t a great view for cricket.
“But it’s all gone now. Melbourne Stars won (against Sydney Thunder on Tuesday).
“We’re looking forward to playing either Adelaide or Perth in the semi-finals.”
Hussey says Warne knew what was required to rally his troops and he was moved by the captain’s aggressive display towards Samuels.
“Yeah absolutely. You want your captain to stick up for you,” Hussey said.
“He’s a great motivator of men. All the players saw him do that and probably lifted a new gear.
“It just showed by Clint McKay’s speed in his bowling. He bumped up to 140 kilometres an hour.
“He hasn’t done that since 1996.
“Shane’s brilliant. He wears his heart on his sleeve.
“All the boys love playing for him.”