The Big Bash League is fast becoming a ‘Rainbow’ League and it is thanks to the west Indies players and their experiments with coloured bats.
A few weeks after Andre Russell had flashed a black bat in the Big Bash T20 League, Carlos Brathwaite, who slammed four consecutive sixes to win the T20I World Cup for West Indies, decided to unveil a bright green bat ahead of Sydney Thunder’s crucial clash against Adelaide Strikers.
It’s a must-win game for his side, and Sydney Thunder will hope that the bat helps Brathwaite smash yet another breathtaking knock. The bat’s lime-green colour also matches with that of the team’s outfit, and thus is in tune with the BBL & WBBL Clothing and Equipment Regulations. Under the norms, a player can use a coloured bat subject to Cricket Australia approval and must be the same colour as the club’s primary colour, or black.
While Andre Russell’s black bat had been banned by CA after it left marks on the ball, no such objection has yet been raised against Brathwaite’s bat as yet. The bat was supposed to be used on Saturday against Sydney Sixers, but Brathwaite didn’t have the opportunity as the Sixers ended up on 99/9. Kurtis Patterson, James Vince and Ben Rohrer guided the Thunders home by eight wickets to stay alive in the competition.
“Russell brought the black bat and I’m just trying to bring some Caribbean flair and have a green bat,” Brathwaite was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald. “The crowds enjoy the colour, the crowds enjoy the dancing, we play for them. Once they’re happy and if we perform and we win, it’s happy days, cricket is a winner.” In 2015, Chris Gayle had got a golden bat from himself during the Melbourne Renegades’ fixture against Brisbane Heat.
There are incentives for the fans as well, as Brathwaite has planned to gift a green bat to whoever sends him the best ‘dab’ celebration video on Instagram.
Brathwaite has already had his fair share of antics this season with going out in the middle wearing Pat Cummins’ shoes and borrowing 18-year-old Hayley Matthews’ bat for a game as his cricket gear hadn’t arrived.
Coloured bats were first used by the West Indies players in their domestic tournaments but have since gained momentum across the world. Last year, Aiden Blizzard had flashed a similar green bat in one of the fixtures. Recently, during the Melbourne Derby clash between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades, former Australia legspinner Brad Hogg had decided to use a Red bat.
However, 45-year-old Hogg did not get a chance to use it as he could not bat in Melbourne Renegades’ seven-run win over the Stars.