The Big Bash League is on again and one of the interesting things to have already happened was Andre Russel coming out to bat for the Sydney Thunder with a black cricket bat. It was a Spartan Cricket Bat and it definitely made a statement. He is not the first to come out in the Big Bash League with a colored cricket bat as players will remember Chris Gayle coming out to bat for the Melbourne Renegades with a gold Spartan Cricket Bat.
Originally, Cricket Australia approved the black cricket bat of Russel. Players who want to use a colored cricket bat have to have the bat approved by Cricket Australia. Cricket Australia have essentially said that a bat of color cannot compromise the integrity of the game.
After the game between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers, it was noted that Russel’s bat was leaving black marks on the ball. This was brought to the attention of Cricket Australia by the match officials. Cricket Australia have quite understandably stated that this is compromising the integrity of the game and have therefore since ruled that Andre Russel cannot bat with a colored cricket bat.
The English Cricket Board are a lot stricter when it comes to cricket bat color and have ruled that a cricket bat cannot be artificially colored beyond the top 9 inches of the blade of the bat.
Ashar Zaidi came out to bat in the NatWest T20 blast with a cricket bat that was merely spray painted black and that was outlawed due to the ECB’s laws.
Aside from aesthetics, there is not much to be benefitted from adding coloring of any type to a cricket bat. The MCC laws of cricket, in fact state that the bat can have a substance applied to make the willow more moisture resistant or to hide blemishes but not for other purposes.