A dramatic finish to the BBL Challenger match between Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers saw the Sixers decide to retire hurt their injured No.8 Jordan Silk with two needed off the final ball.
Silk, who had a hamstring problem, came out to bat at 157-6, after the Strikers picked up two wickets off the first two balls of the 20th over, leaving the Sixers with a requirement of 11 runs off the last four. Silk dragged his first ball to deep midwicket, hobbling to exchange ends and give the strike to Hayden Kerr, batting on 86 off 55.
Kerr clanked the next ball for a six, keeping Sixers in the hunt, and proceeded to take two off the next ball, bringing the equation down to two required off the final delivery. By then, a padded Jay Lenton emerged at the edge of the boundary, with the coaching staff waving at Silk to retire hurt and return. Lenton, their assistant coach, had made an emergency entry into the playing XI for the game, given the list of absentees in the Sixers camp.
With a fully-fit runner at the non-striker’s end, Kerr flicked the last ball to deep midwicket, running hard to finish off the chase, with a misfield at the boundary line gifting the Strikers four runs and the win.
Sixers captain Moises Henriques, when later asked if the decision to replace Silk was within the spirit of the game, said: “They’re clearly within the rules of the game. Unfortunately, we had a guy go down with a hamstring, one of the fittest guys in the league, probably something to do with our schedule, five flights in eight days and so many back to back games.”
Not everyone was happy with the call though.
Jamie Briggs, an SACA administrator, commented on a tweet update with the word “Cheats”.
— Jamie Briggs (@BriggsJamie) January 26, 2022
What crap to retire Silk hurt. Absolute dog move by the Sixers #bbl
— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) January 26, 2022
Really poor sportsmanship from the Sixers subbing off Silk for the final ball.
Thankfully didn't impact the result, but terrible decision.
Cricket the loser tonight.#BBL
— Scott Phillips (@TMFScottP) January 26, 2022
Mark Waugh, after years of calling for batsmen to be retired out when they aren’t in touch in T20 cricket, on Jordan Silk being retired out:
“It’s within the rules, but it’s probably not in the spirit of the game.”
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) January 26, 2022
Others, including former England cricketers James Taylor and Luke Wright, were in favour of Henriques’ decision.
Very smart. It's in the rules and he was injured.
— Luke Wright (@lukewright204) January 26, 2022
It made total sense.
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) January 26, 2022
Jordan Silk’s ‘retirement’ is exactly the reason why we should stop wringing our hands about whether Mankad is within the ‘spirit of the game’ attitude #BBL11
— John Hunt (@JohnHunt1992) January 26, 2022
— Burney Wong (@Burndoggs) January 26, 2022
Watch the incident here:
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) January 26, 2022