Cricket Australia (CA) will examine an on-air exchange between Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge and Network Ten commentators.
During Wednesday’s Big Bash League win over the Sydney Thunder, Hodge was told seamer Ben Laughlin had dismissed opposing captain Shane Watson twice in the past eight balls he had bowled to the former Test batsman.
Hodge sounded intrigued and commentator Mark Howard said he would “leave that with” the captain.
“I’ll bring him on next over then. Let’s get him into the game. Next over bud,” a chuckling Hodge said while pointing to the end from which he wanted Laughlin to bowl from.
Laughlin bowled the next over as Melbourne Stars import and co-commentator Kevin Pietersen said Howard was “very naughty”.
“The comments were in no way intended to advise Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge on game tactics or influence the outcome of the game,” a Network Ten spokesperson said.
Laughlin did not take the wicket of Watson, who made 39 off 26 before holing out coincidentally to Laughlin off the bowling of Jake Lehmann.
CA said it was “disappointed” by the exchange with Hodge, who has worn a microphone and communicated with commentators throughout the tournament, and said the integrity unit would investigate further.
“Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management,” a CA spokesperson said.
“We educate our broadcasters at the beginning of each season in the area of Cricket Australia’s integrity codes and policies so they fully understand the extent we take to ensure the integrity of cricket in the country.
We are disappointed with the comments made on the BBL broadcast last night, and expressed this concern immediately to Channel 10 when it occurred.
“Cricket Australia’s Integrity unit is looking into the matter further to ensure the comments made during the broadcast did not jeopardise the integrity of last night’s match.”
The network apologised for the incident.
“Network Ten apologises to Cricket Australia for comments made during last night’s KFC Big Bash League match,” a Ten spokesperson said.
The Strikers bowled the Thunder out for 101 in 15.3 overs to end the BBL 2005 champion’s title defence. The season is now finished for both teams, and neither will feature in this year’s finals series.