Obstruction debate spices up Big Bash as Hurricanes edge Heat

Brisbane and Hobart are set for a spicy Hobart Big Bash rematch as debate continues over Alex Ross's divisive obstructing the field dismissal at the Gabba.

Chasing 180 for an unlikely victory, Heat batsman Ross was hit by a return throw while scampering for a second run, the ball deflecting off his body into the stumps as he made his ground.

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Initially appealing for a run-out, Hobart then queried if Ross had purposely changed his line and obstructed the field, to which the third umpire agreed.

A bemused Ross was given out, with the Heat eventually falling four runs short of victory after Hobart's D'Arcy Short struck a BBL-record unbeaten 122 earlier in the night.

Rules state a player can be given out for wilfully obstructing the fielding side by word or action.

However, a batsman is not out if that obstruction is accidental or to avoid injury.

It is this distinction that had social media split last night, with former Australian pair Dean Jones and Jason Gillespie among those debating the decision.

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Brisbane captain Brendon McCullum took the high ground following the win, saying his counterpart George Bailey may regret not calling Ross back to the crease in what would have been a nod to the spirit of cricket.

"I don't really care what the rules are, to me it is one of those grey areas like the Mankad," McCullum said.

"To me it falls into the spirit of the game and I was making that point to George.

"Sometimes there are opportunities which are more important than the two points."

The pair, who have both captained their country, were engaged in a long discussion following the game and were tense but civil exchanging their views in a combined television interview that followed.

They are sure to have an interesting reunion in Hobart on Monday though, when the teams meet in a well-timed rematch that has play-off ramifications given both sides now sit equal in fourth on eight points.

"We debated the philosophical merits of one another's points," McCullum said of the pair's post-match debrief.

"It was a great game of cricket and a shame it was marred by that."


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