The one-match suspension handed to Brendon McCullum for the Brisbane Heat taking 96 minutes to bowl their 20 overs in the Big Bash match against the Perth Scorchers was harsh to say the least.
Why weren’t the delays caused by Sam Whiteman’s head knock and the third umpire decision in the penultimate over for a boundary catch taken into account by the match committee?
Sure, the Heat had infringed once before, against the Hobart Hurricanes on December 20, but the players were fined $500 each as a result.
Yes, rules and regulations are there for a reason and have to be enforced, but when mitigating circumstances contribute to a team bowling their required 20 overs after the imposed 90-minute time limit, surely a little leniency could be shown.
The BBL has had record crowds this season and part of the reason for that is because of players like McCullum, Chris Lynn and Kevin Pietersen, who have entertained with their sublime skills.
By insisting on ruling with an iron fist the BBL are going to deprive the crowd at the Melbourne Stars vs Heat match the chance to see one of the greatest T20 batsmen ever, which will more than likely see the match suffer and result in a convincing Stars victory.
I agree with the comments made by Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh, that McCullum should have been fined, but still allowed to play.
Cricket Australia have said there will be a review at the end of the season regarding teams who have a slow over rate, so hopefully common sense will prevail.