Colour. Spice. Entertainment. That's what you would associate with T20 cricket, and certainly the Indian Premier League (IPL). India's franchise-based domestic T20 competition captured the imagination of the world when it was launched amid considerable fanfare in 2008 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been one of the most recognisable faces of the IPL.
Therefore, who better than the Rising Pune Supergiants captain to add more zing and colour to what is already an extravaganza?
That is precisely the idea that sports equipment-maker Spartan Sports has hit upon, and after players like Chris Gayle and Andre Russell have used coloured bats in the Big Bash League (BBL), the company has suggested Dhoni does it in the IPL as well, according to a report in the Deccan Chronicle.
"Dhoni is more than welcome to use a coloured bat (in IPL). He is such an amazing role model, influential cricketer and kids look up to him," Cameron Merchant, the cricket manager at the Spartan Sports, said.
The Indian limited overs captain, Dhoni had signed a big bat endorsement deal with Spartan in 2013. The sports equipment-maker had also signed former Australian captain Michael Clarke and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, West Indians Gayle and Russell, England’s Alastair Cook and Eoin Morgan, former West Indies great Vivian Richards and Sri Lanka's woman cricketer Sripali Weerakkody.
Russell using a flashy black bat with pink handle made by Spartan during the opening match of BBL-6 between Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers on Tuesday was the talk of the town and quite a rage on social media. Gayle had used a golden bat – also made by Spartan – in the BBL last year.
Russell has, however, been forbidden from using his coloured bat henceforth, after match officials reported that his bat was leaving black marks on the ball.
Under BBL regulations, a player can use a coloured bat as long as it is same colour as their team's primary kit colour, or black.
Cricket Australia has the discretion to deny any approvals and the umpires can also request a player change the bat if they believe it is affecting the integrity of the match.
Spartan's Merchant said that the idea of using coloured bats was a way to make the game more exciting for the fans and kids watching.
"We are unsure how Russell's bat had marks on ball but we have gone to precautionary measures and quality control to make sure that it is completely covered so that at no time will the ball come in contact with any colour," he said.
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Updated Date: Dec 25, 2016 15:27:37 IST