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Big Bash League 2020/21

Watch: BBL umpire gives batsman out off free hit, attempts to style it out

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: There was an amusing moment in the Big Bash League clash between Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat, with an on-field umpire realising he had made an error soon after giving a batsman out off a free hit, and attempting to play it cool in the aftermath.

The incident occurred in the final over of Hobart Hurricanes’ first innings, bowled by Lewis Gregory. Though the Englishman had enjoyed a stellar start to his BBL debut, taking three wickets in his first two overs to claim the Player of the Match award, he committed the cardinal sin of bowling a no-ball to start the 20th over, with umpire Tony Wilds signalling a free hit.

Having started with a waist-high full toss, Gregory went short on the extra delivery, finding the edge of fellow debutant Wil Parker with wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson claiming the catch. With the ball safely in the keeper’s gloves, the Hobart Hurricanes didn’t attempt a run, and Peirson returned the ball to Gregory without appealing.

However, Wilds had already raised his finger, seemingly forgetting momentarily that the delivery was a free hit.

“Oh he’s given him out!” said a surprised Mel Jones on commentary. “Did he then scratch his nose after that one?”

The latter comment was a reference to a funny moment in BBL09, when umpire Greg Davidson seemingly changed his mind halfway through a decision, opting to scratch his nose rather than raise his finger all the way.

Wilds wasn’t quite that quick to realise his error, but did attempt to excuse himself afterwards.

“Ah, he was just signalling it was one for the over,” said another of the on-air commentators.

“A very high one for the over,” Jones noted wryly.

Watch the clip below:

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