The nail-biting thriller between Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday (January 10) witnessed a bizarre decision go against the Heat batsman Alex Ross, when the right-hander was adjudged out obstructing-the-field.
Initially appealing for a run-out, Hurricanes’ players then queried if Ross had intentionally changed his line and obstructed the field, to which the third umpire agreed.
After the match Brisbane Heat skipper Brendon McCullum said that his counterpart George Bailey had the chance to uphold the spirit of cricket.
"I don't really care what the rules are, to me it is one of those grey areas like the Mankad," McCullum said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
"To me it falls into the spirit of the game and I was making that point to George. Sometimes there are opportunities which are more important than the two points.
"I don't believe it was the right decision; we're not righteous on our stance on the spirit of the game but every now and then you get a chance to stand up for the spirit of the game and I think tonight George missed an opportunity. He, in time, will perhaps live to wish he made the other choice," he added.
Even though the law 37.1 of cricket states a batsman can be given out obstructing the field if he purposely attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action, McCullum doesn’t really care as he termed the rule as grey area akin to Mankad.
"We were debating the philosophical merits of one another's points," McCullum said. "Whatever the rules are, to be honest I don't really care what the rules are. To me that's one of those grey areas about the definition of that rule, just like a Mankad is a grey area as well in terms of the rules that we have."
On the other hand, Bailey maintained that his team had done nothing wrong to taint the spirit of the game and it was a decision taken by the match officials.
“The original appeal was for the run-out. I'm learning the rule as we speak. But when we saw Ross change the angle on the replay, we asked (the umpire), to check for the obstructing the field as well and then we were waiting for the umpire's decision,” Hobart captain Bailey told the official BBL broadcasters, Channel Ten.