Big Bash commentator exchange being looked into by CA integrity unit

Brad Hodge
Hodge tried to utilise the information he received from the commentator

An on-air conversation between Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge and a television commentator during a Big Bash game is being investigated by Cricket Australia (CA).

Hodge was told by Mark Howard that Ben Laughlin had got Sydney Thunder batsman Shane Watson out twice in eight balls.

Hodge duly brought Laughlin on to bowl and, even though he did not get Watson out, the incident "disappointed" CA.

Broadcaster Network Ten later apologised for Howard's comments.

Hodge was wearing a microphone and earpiece so he could speak to commentators in between overs as part of the broadcaster's live coverage.

The on-air exchange

Howard: "Our master statistician Lawrie Colliver tells us that Laughlin has got Watson twice in the last eight balls he's bowled him in this competition."

Hodge: "Really?"

Howard: "I'll leave that with you skipper."

Hodge: "I'll bring him on next over then. Let's get him into the game."

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who plays for Melbourne Stars in Australia's Twenty20 series, was co-commentating at the time but not part of the exchange.

"Very naughty. Very, very naughty, Howie," said Pietersen when Laughlin was brought on.

"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," said a statement from CA.

Watson ended up scoring 39 from 26 balls before being caught by Laughlin off the bowling of Jake Lehmann as Thunder were dismissed for 101 chasing 178.

The result left defending champions Thunder bottom of the eight-team table and Strikers in fifth and neither team will progress to the knockout stages.

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