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Alex Hales accused of ‘cheating’ with fielding tactic in BBL


Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting accused Alex Hales of ‘cheating’ and breaching the spirit of the game in Sydney Thunder’s 57-run victory in the Big Bash League eliminator against Hobart Hurricanes.

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According to Ponting, Englishman Hales broke the rules and wasn’t acting in the spirit of the game by stepping outside the inner circle before the bowler had released the ball. Commenting on Channel 7, Ponting said, “It’s actually cheating. Well, it’s not in the spirit of the game.”

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Under present fielding regulations, a certain number of fielders must be within the inner circle.

“Take your position and then walk in with the bowler, you can’t go backwards. He was supposed to be one of four fielders inside the circle. He starts walking back outside the circle before the ball is being bowled,” Ponting said.

“Anyone of us who have played the game, we know we’re not allowed to walk back in the field. It’s not against the rules but it’s against the spirit of the game,” he explained.

Meanwhile Hales defended his tactics saying slip fielders can move to the leg side as soon as they notice a batsman’s attempt to sweep or reverse sweep.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to anticipate and trying to get one step ahead of the batter,” said Hales who has been in an electrifying form in this season’s BBL.

“As soon as the bowler lets go of the ball you’re allowed to leave the ring, which is what I was doing.

“If someone goes for a reverse sweep, first slip moves after the ball is let go. 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,” he added.

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