Sydney Thunder allrounder Andre Russell has received a belated Christmas present after Cricket Australia today gave permission for him to use his controversial black bat in the KFC Big Bash League.
Cricket Australia on Tuesday gave the green light for Russell to resume using his jet black and hot pink bat which he first unveiled in the Thunder’s BBL opener against cross-town rivals Sydney Sixers.
But the blade left black marks on the white ball used in the match, prompting CA to revoke permission for it to be used.
Under the BBL regulations, a player can use a coloured bat subject to CA approval, as long as the bat is the same colour as the club’s primary colour, or black.
Russell batted with a standard piece of willow in the Thunder's second match last Thursday, in which they were beaten by Melbourne Renegades.
But after bat-maker Spartan made adjustments to the bat’s face, the governing body said it was satisfied the modifications met their guidelines.
Following feedback from the Match Officials that the bat used by Andre in the opening night of the season left black marks on the match ball, Andre has worked with his bat manufacturer to modify the bat,” Head of the Big Bash Anthony Everard said in a statement.
“A clear laminate cover has been applied to the bat which complies with regulations to ensure the ball discolouration does not occur again.
“We’re now satisfied that the bat will not compromise the integrity of the game by discolouring the match ball and we have granted approval for Andre to use the bat in any future BBL matches.”
On Friday, Russell showed off the improved Extratec coating on the bat, posting a video to his social media with Spartan founder Kunal Sharma demonstrating.