BBL11: Perth Scorchers docked point for wicketkeeper Brayden Stepien debacle against Adelaide Strikers

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
Brayden Stepien stepped in when Scorchers import Laurie Evans was injured mid-match.
Camera IconBrayden Stepien stepped in when Scorchers import Laurie Evans was injured mid-match. Credit: Matt Turner/AAPIMAGE

The Perth Scorchers have been docked a point by Cricket Australia after being found guilty of breaching the Big Bash League’s contracting rules earlier this month.

Coach Adam Voges was forced to scramble to get a wicketkeeper midway through their clash against the Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval on January 14 after import Laurie Evans sustained a toe injury while batting.

The Scorchers, already without stars Josh Inglis (Australia duties) and Cameron Bancroft (COVID-19), called upon replacement player Brayden Stepien from the newly-created player pool to keep wicket for the final 14 overs of their bowling innings.

But Stepien, a former Melbourne Renegades player, was not part of the Scorchers’ 18-player squad.

At a Code of Conduct Commission hearing on Tuesday, Commissioner Alan Sullivan QC determined that Stepien was an ineligible player for the match — and the decision to field Stepien was a breach of rules.

Brayden Stepien had to keep for the Scorchers earier this month.
Camera IconBrayden Stepien had to keep for the Scorchers earier this month. Credit: Fox Cricket

Sullivan stripped the Scorchers of their Bash Boost point as punishment, with the competition’s battle with COVID-19 taken into account.

The Strikers were not awarded the point.

The Scorchers declined to comment.

Perth still finished on top of the BBL ladder after the home-and-away season, and will host reigning champions Sydney Sixers in the qualifier final at their chosen ground of Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a rematch of last year’s final.

“The League’s firm belief is that we must work together with our clubs to do all we can to protect the finals series using the lessons from the season so far,” BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said.

The Scorchers have defeated the Sixers in both meetings this season, claiming a five-wicket win in their most recent contest in Coffs Harbour.

Perth have won all three of their clashes at Marvel Stadium this season and will likely welcome back reigning Simon Katich medallist Jhye Richardson, who took a competition-high 27 wickets last season.

The Sixers seemingly sealed second spot on the ladder and a qualifier berth with a 27-run win over the Brisbane Heat on Wednesday on the back of the return of test off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

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