Brendon McCullum cops one-match suspension over slow over rate in Big Bash League
The Brisbane Heat will not appeal Cricket Australia's one-match suspension of captain Brendon McCullum for his team's slow over rate in the Big Bash League.
The suspension has dealt Brisbane's title aspirations a massive blow with their Kiwi captain paying the price for the slow over rate in their 27-run loss to Perth on Wednesday.
It was the Heat's second slow over rate offence of the season.
Queensland Cricket chief executive Max Walters said it was disappointing to lose the former New Zealand Test captain given how well fans have received the Heat's exciting and attacking brand of play.
However, after reviewing the match, the Heat determined there were no grounds for an appeal and accepted the penalty.
"The Heat have shown that their style of attacking, exciting cricket really resonates with the fans and viewers all over the world and so it is disappointing for them that they will miss seeing one of the game's best in action in Melbourne next week," he said.
"It is a shame but we accept those are the competition rules we are playing under and reminds us that we can continue to improve in all facets of the game.
Joe Burns will step in as captain while McCullum serves his ban, which was handed down on Thursday for a second breach of the playing conditions this season.
That decision came despite the Heat's time in the field being affected by a number of stoppages for third umpire decisions and a concussion check for Perth batsman Sam Whiteman.
McCullum was not the only player to be penalised for the team's slow bowling spell.
The Heat players were fined $1000 each, but that will be reduced to $500 since the team was not appealing the penalty.
The Heat were previously fined when they exceeded their 90-minute limit against Hobart at the Gabba on December 30 by five-and-a-half minutes.
Any second sanction against a team includes the compulsory one-game suspension of the captain.
Before the suspension was handed down, McCullum had called for commonsense.
"We were a little bit late but it's pretty difficult.," he said. "You get penalised for taking wickets. You get 35,000 people turning up to every game. The product is outstanding.
"We finished 10 minutes early anyway so let's see what happens. Hopefully I'm available.
"There were some inconsistencies the first time (I was fined).
"If you get suspended, you get suspended. That's how it is. I hope not. We're bringing a great product to the table at the moment and we'll see what unfolds."
The suspension left Australian TV commentators angered.
They believed removing McCullum would only hurt the tournament.
"It's ridiculous. If you don't mind me, Howie. We want McCullum playing," guest commentator and national coach Darren Lehmann said. "Speed it up, fine them all, if it's that bad, but we want them playing cricket."
"Exactly, take it out of his pay packet if it's that bad," was the reply of former international Mark Waugh.
The Scorchers have replaced the Heat at the top of the BBL standings following Wednesday's victory and with only two games remaining for Brisbane before the finals, wins are vital.
The loss of big-hitter McCullum for their clash against the Melbourne Stars on January 17 would take on even more meaning after the absence of Chris Lynn was felt in Wednesday's loss to the Scorchers.
Perth quick Andrew Tye (4-22) claimed a hat-trick to wrap up the win, with only Alex Ross (39) keeping the Heat in the contest as they were all out for 129 in front of a new domestic-record crowd at the Gabba of 34,677.
Without the tournament's leading run-scorer Lynn due to Australian selection, the Heat fell to their to their worst powerplay score of the season - 3-41.
And after Mitchell Johnson (2-25) tore through the top order with an early wicket-maiden, they never recovered.
McCullum himself could only muster 15 before he became one of three men to be caught by Ashton Agar, who also went for just 14 with the ball from his four overs.
Earlier, Michael Klinger had carried the Scorchers with an eventful 81.
Klinger hit eight of the Scorchers' 11 boundaries in his 54-ball knock, which included two sixes.
However, he should have been dismissed when he was on 54 when he gloved a Ben Cutting bouncer through to wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson, only for it to be ruled a wide.
He was also caught in front of the sightscreen by Burns when he fought off McCullum for an over-the-shoulder catch, only for him to then run it over the rope.
'I'M A KIWI'
McCullum quickly laughed off the collision, which saw him plough into Burns' backside.
Speaking to the commentators on his field microphone soon after the smash, McCullum was asked about taking the brunt of the crash on "the hardest part of his body".
He laughed it off, saying he was "all good".
"I said I'm a Kiwi."
McCullum lamented that Burns ran over the boundary on the otherwise stunning catch, calling it "a bit unlucky".
"It was a great catch, Burnsy says it's the best catch he's ever taken," he said.
Klinger, the leading run-scorer in the history of the competition, was eventually dismissed when caught by Nathan Reardon on the long-on boundary in the 19th over.
Reardon immediately claimed the catch, however Klinger refused to walk when he believed Reardon's heel may have come in contact with the rope.
Replays proved inconclusive and Klinger, the only Scorchers batsman to top 20, was visibly unhappy as he returned to the team's dugout.
"I saw the screen and I actually walked back to bat," Klinger said.
"I was a little bit more animated than I normally am. I'm usually pretty cool, calm and collected."
Brisbane legspinner Mitchell Swepson said the loss of McCullum would be felt on the field as much as it would be with the bat.
"I think in a way it would be a bigger loss for us bowlers," Swepson said.
"The mindset he has out there and the calming nature he has out there would be tough to be without,"
It's understood BBL officials have reviewed the Heat's bowling innings and concluded it would have exceeded time even without the stoppages.
A penalty is likely to be handed down by Thursday morning.
- AAP, Stuff