Alex Hales came under fire when fielding against the Hurricanes. Picture: Steve Bell/Getty Images
Alex Hales came under fire when fielding against the Hurricanes. Picture: Steve Bell/Getty Images

Calm down, Ricky! Thunder says ‘we’re not cheating’

SYDNEY Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson has hit back at Ricky Ponting's claim that Alex Hales was "cheating" in his team's Big Bash win over the Hobart Hurricanes, saying it was nothing more than a simple misunderstanding that was sorted out in the blink of an eye.

Ponting accused the Thunder's English batting sensation of breaching "the spirit of cricket" after he was spotted stepping outside the inner fielding circle as the bowler was delivering the ball.

Hales spoke with the umpires to seek clarification on the rule after Ponting blew up while commentating for Channel 7.

Ferguson stood by his teammate and refuted the accusation he was cheating.

"Alex wasn't aware that he wasn't allowed to go after the ball was bowled - he thought that once the ball leaves the bowler's hand he was then allowed to go," Ferguson said.

"He wasn't deliberately trying to cheat anyone out of anything, he just wasn't aware of that rule and that's just something that was dealt with by the umpires.

"Once Alex was aware of it he apologised and made sure he wasn't doing it for the rest of the innings."

The incident had zero impact on the result as the Thunder romped to a comprehensive 57-run win over the Tasmanians to set up a mouth-watering clash with the Strikers in Adelaide on Saturday night.

With more than 500 runs under his belt this season, Hales looms as the Thunder's trump card in a sudden-death play-off match the western Sydneysiders are confident of winning after producing their best performance of the season against the Hurricanes.

Thunder hit the road again on Saturday, this time to Adelaide.
Thunder hit the road again on Saturday, this time to Adelaide.

"It's a really big match-up. We obviously knocked them off on New Year's Eve - the first team ever to do that - so that was a huge confidence builder for us," Ferguson said.

"We've played well against them previously. We feel like it's going to be a red hot contest we know how good they are at home so we'll learn what we can from the previous encounters against them so we'll come real hard at them and sure they'll come just as hard at us. Can't wait."

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