Marsh cops hefty fine for BBL blow-up
Mitchell Marsh will be free to play for the Scorchers in Thursday's Big Bash playoff after accepting a $5000 fine for dissent in Saturday's nine-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers.
Speculation that Marsh could face a suspension was shot down when he was charged by match referee Bob Stratford with a level two offence under Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct for showing dissent after he was given out caught behind.
In a statement, Marsh apologised for his actions and said he would accept the charge and the proposed sanction of a $5000 fine.
"I accept the fine handed down to me, my reaction to the umpire's decision was unacceptable and not the example I want to be setting for any young cricketer," Marsh said.
"I have complete respect for the umpires and the job they do. I'll learn from this and look forward to Thursday night's match."
His apology came after Scorchers captain Ashton Turner strongly defended his players' behaviour after Marsh and Andrew Tye copped a roasting on social media during the team's crushing Big Bash loss to the Sydney Sixers.
Tye's sportsmanship has been questioned after he bowled an unplayable wide to deny Sixers' English import James Vince the chance to post a century.
Turner denied his players crossed the line.
"We're not robots. We encourage all of our players to be authentic. We have emotions, we feel happy when things go well, we feel disappointed, we feel unhappy when things go wrong," he said.
"It was pretty clear Mitch was disappointed and feels he didn't hit the ball.
"It certainly is very frustrating. We're professional athletes, we know that's part of the deal. We've got to cop it on the chin at times, irrespective of how big a game it is, how important the player is, how important a moment of the game it is.
"We're all human beings, we all get frustrated and Mitch is no exception."
Marsh had plenty of sympathisers who said he copped a howler of a decision but former Test skipper Ricky Ponting said his angry reaction will not go down well with officials and he could possibly be suspended for the Scorchers home final next Thursday if he is charged and found guilty of dissent.
Turner said there was no way Marsh deserved a penalty.
"I'd be absolutely staggered if he's fined or suspended for a game," Turner said. "I've seen worse carry-ons in this tournament."
Marsh's dismissal has prompted calls for the BBL to introduce DRS and the West Australian all-rounder did find a supporter in Steve O'Keefe, the veteran Sixers' spinner who bowled the ball that Marsh was given out off.
O'Keefe said it was unfair to blame umpires for making wrong decisions and he supported the use of any technology to ensure the right calls.
"The umpires, they're under as much stress as the players. They want to get right decisions," O'Keefe said.
"Mistakes are going to happen, they're going to make incorrect decisions (but) they're not going out to try and ruin anyone's night.
"You'd love to have as much technology available as possible. Players and the umpires want to make as many correct decisions as possible.
"Going forwards, we're going to have to look at (the DRS). Doing that I think umpires will make better decisions as well knowing they can relax a bit … that they've got the option of (the third umpire) looking at it upstairs."
Turner also rallied behind Tye, who has been blasted for his last ball wide that left Vince stranded on 98 not out when the Sixers only needed one more run to complete a nine-wicket win.
The crowd at Manuka Oval booed Tye as Vince stared back at him in bewilderment but Turner insisted his paceman had not deliberately tried to spoil the Englishman's chance of a hundred.
"Anyone who knows AJ tye knows that he played the game of cricket in the best spirits and I can assure you at the top of the mark that the plan wasn't to bowl that ball," Turner said.
"I'm sure AJ will be disappointed with that ball, he'd be disappointed with that ball at any time in the game, but there's obviously going to be a little bit more of a spotlight on someone trying to get a hundred.
"I just hope that it doesn't take away from how well James Vince played because I thought he played brilliant, that was a masterclass."
Vince did not speak to Tye straight after the match but said other players had assured him the errant delivery was accidental and he said he was happy to take them at their word.
"I was obviously looking to try and hit a boundary and the one that flew over my head, I wouldn't have been able to reach that with a step ladder," Vince said.
"I can't imagine he meant it but it was a bit of an anticlimax.
"It would have been nice, it would have been the icing on the cake but I was glad to be there at the end and I'm just pleased that we were able to get such a good win.
"I can't really remember at the end, I think I walked off to point to avoid him but he said he didn't mean it and I'll take his word for it. It didn't impact the game at all."
With the win, the Sixers are not only on course to capture back-to-back BBL titles but will also get to play their first game at home this season after being on the road for months with the final locked in for the Sydney Cricket Ground next Saturday.
"We are so excited to be able to head back to Sydney and play in front of our fans at the SCG," Sixers General Manager Jodie Hawkins said.
"Our fans have shown tremendous support for us as we've travelled around the country and deserve the chance to see us in action at our home ground."
The men in magenta could also be in for another bonus with a decision expected soon on whether Mitchell Starc can play.
Starc hasn't played in the Big Bash for six years so is hoping to make a cameo reappearance before heading to South Africa with the Test team but needs to be cleared first after undergoing scans to his knees.
His return would be a massive boost to the bowling line-up, which did well to restrict the scorchers to 6-167 after picking up just two wickets from the first 10 overs.
A late flurry from Josh Inglis, who finished on 69 not out gave the Scorchers a glimmer of hope that Philippe and Vince just as quickly killed off when the Sixers began their reply.
Excitement machine Josh Philippe plundered 13 off Jhye Richardson's opening over before he departed for 45 after putting on 92 with Vince for the first wicket.
Daniel Hughes finished unconquered on 21 as he and Vince coasted to their target with 18 balls to spare.
The Scorchers now have to travel all the way back to Perth to play the winner of Sunday's knockout match between the Sydney Thunder and the Brisbane Heat on Thursday for the chance to join the Sixers in the decider.
Originally published as Marsh cops hefty fine for BBL blow-up