Alex Hales, who’s currently with the Sydney Thunder in the 2019-20 edition of the BBL, has responded to Ricky Ponting’s criticism. Hales has denied the charges of him going against the spirit of cricket, resorting to a fielding ploy. During the Hobart Hurricanes’ run-chase in the Eliminator on Thursday, Hales went backward with the bowler’s run-up, instead of walking in.
Hales was standing outside the 30-yard-circle and a shot from Hurricanes’ Simon Milenko fell in front of the fielder at mid-off. Hales was one of the four fielders, who were inside the circle. Had the fielder finished inside the circle, Milenko would’ve been caught. Hales’ move didn’t please Ponting by any means. The former Aussie said that ‘it’s actually cheating’.
“Take your position and then walk in with the bowler, you can’t go backwards,” Ponting said on Seven while commentating as per reports in cricket.com.au. Ponting accepted that it wasn’t against the rules, but was against the spirit of the game.
I don’t think there is anything wrong: Alex Hales
Replying to Ponting’s accusations, Hales said that he went back in the quest to out-think the batsman. At the time when Milenko was plying his trade in the middle, the required-rate was above 12 and big shots were the need of the hour. As per the Englishmen, he tried to anticipate the batsman’s intentions and hence went back, instead of forward.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to anticipate and trying to get one step ahead of the batter. Once the ball is let go and you see the batsman swing, you can react in the field and come forward or back. I think it’s fine. It’s part-and-parcel of fielding, trying to anticipate. I don’t think it’s bad sportsmanship at all,” Hales said.
“They needed 14 or 15 an over so they were obviously looking to go hard. I felt like I was more likely to get a catch over my head rather than a flat one to me, so I just wanted to give myself an extra yard. I was walking back onto the ring and then went outside after he (the bowler) let the ball go. We weren’t sure on the exact rules so I was just trying to clarify (with the umpires),” he added.
On the field, Hales had a decent day. To start with, he notched 60 off 37 and helped the Thunder put 197 on the board. The Thunder went on to win by 57 and are now scheduled to play the Adelaide Strikers on February 1 at the Adelaide Oval.
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