On December 20, was a landmark day for T20 cricket. Ashton Turner hit the ball to the roof of the Docklands Stadium, Melbourne and got 6 runs of it. Just in case you were thinking it was a huge hit, it was not. Docklands stadium has a roof unlike most stadiums in the world. It is a relatively new rule in Big Bash League (BBL) where if the ball hits the roof of the stadium it’s signalled a six.
Players of both teams, Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades were confused as they became the firsts to witness the rule in play this season. The ball landed just outside the 30-yard circle which clearly means that the shot did not have enough power to go over the boundary. Had it hit the roof outside the boundary, it would have been fair to award 6 runs to the batsman.
BBL has been trying to make the game more interesting with new innovations. Replacing coin toss with bat flip was the first. However, this one goes more in the favour of the batting team making it unfair for the bowlers and fielders who had the opportunity of taking a wicket.
In a T20I match at the Gabba between India and Australia, Glenn Maxwell struck the spider cam with his shot and it was signalled a dead ball. Signalling it as a dead ball is a popular opinion among the players as well.
Even the players were not happy with it including Turner. He told cricket.com.au,
“I think it’s a pretty bad rule. It saved me tonight … I think it’s not fair. It should be a dead ball – you can’t predict whether they’re going to catch it, so there’s no fairer outcome than a dead ball. It’s a little bit different if you think it might have hit the roof over the boundary rope (but) it might be hard to detect where it’s actually (going to land) and if it’s going to go for six.”
However, Turner could not do much damage as he got out the next ball. Melbourne Renegades won the game with ease by 4 wickets and 28 balls to go. BBL rule makers got away with it easily as it was a one-sided affair otherwise it could have led to a whole new controversy.