Big Bash bosses say they had no choice but to suspend Ellyse Perry from this year’s season-opener after three over-rates penalties from almost 11 months ago.
The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) launches its 10th edition on Thursday night without superstar Perry, as the Sydney Sixers take on Melbourne Stars at North Sydney Oval.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Ellyse Perry speaks about cricket at the Olympics.
Watch, Stream & Catch Up with Australia’s Home of Cricket on 7plus >>
The Sixers were found to be behind the rate in last year’s final against Adelaide, as well as in two regular-season matches.
Under the tournament’s rules, captains face a one-match suspension from their next WBBL match for a third over-rates infraction, leaving Perry on the sidelines for Thursday night.
It is understood the Sixers asked for Perry’s punishment to be disregarded given it is a new season, but were knocked back.
Perry says she is disappointed about missing the Sydney Sixers’ WBBL season-opener but she was aware of the rules. Credit: AAP
“The competition runs with a set of playing conditions and rules around it,” Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson said at Monday’s season launch in Melbourne.
“Everyone understands what those rules are, that’s the situation we’re in.”
Australian cricket superstar Ellyse Perry cops ban for serious offence in final
England implode as cricket minnows pull off greatest upset
The Sixers’ final indiscretions came in a match broadcast on Seven, making for longer gaps in play.
But Dobson said that was factored into the timing of the innings.
“The rules and playing conditions generally take that all into account,” he said.
“The match officials take into account that there is a unique element of the WBBL where the games simulcast have some different elements to those that aren’t when they do calculations.”
Perry remains disappointed to miss the season-opener, but refused to be critical of the situation.
“It’s a really hard subjective measure sometimes to understand where time is gained and lost,” she said.
“A large part of that is my management of the group in those high-pressure games.
“That’s something I can definitely learn from.
“It’s a bummer to miss the first game, but I was very much aware of the rules and it is what it is.”
The Sixers will enter the season among the favourites, alongside the Brisbane Heat and last season’s champions the Adelaide Strikers.
Perth are also among the contenders, with England star Nat Sciver-Brunt set to come on board as an overseas replacement player, while improving Hobart last season made their first finals in six years.
Meg Lanning will make her return to the WBBL in Friday night’s opener after sitting out last season.
She and the Renegades’ West Indian run-machine Hayley Matthews are likely to be among the competition’s most-dangerous batters.
The Sydney Thunder’s overseas contingent is close to the competition’s best, with South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp and young England quick Lauren Bell offering hope after two years in the doldrums.
“I don’t really have a handle on who the team to beat is,” Perry said.
“If you look at teams on paper, they’ve all got their different strengths and it’s really evenly matched across the board.
“It’s probably more who’s got the form and momentum throughout the competition.”
Sloppy Aussies humiliated in World Cup collapse: ‘Everyone’s hurting’
Crucial detail missing from Aussie shirt after Pat Cummins’ stand
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings.