Haris Rauf has taken 10 wickets in three Big Bash League games but his slit throat celebrations have resulted in controversy. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Haris Rauf has been in sensational form in the ongoing Big Bash League Twenty20 tournament in Australia. The Pakistan speedster started off with 2/20 in his first game against the Brisbane Heat but his crowning glory came in the match against Hobart Hurricanes in which he took his maiden five-wicket haul in Twenty20s. His impressive run in the tournament continued as he finished with 3/24 against Sydney Thunder at the Showground stadium. However, during the course of the match, Rauf was involved in a major controversy.
Having taken the wickets of Sydney Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson and Alex Ross, Rauf bowled a full and pacy delivery to Daniel Sams and the batsman slogged across the line. He missed it and the middle stump was knocked out. Rauf celebrated aggressively and proceeded to give a slit throat signal as the batsman was walking back. The gesture from Rauf did not go down too well with social media users, who labelled it inappropriate. Here is the video and here are some of the reactions.
Rauf was a late inclusion for Dale Steyn in the Melbourne Stars side and he has impressed everybody with his pace, with former Australia batsman and selector Mark Waugh comparing him with India pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
They are citizens of a terrorist country....it shows up even in their cricket...not his mistake..it's his upbringing— Atul Katyal (@katyal_atul) January 2, 2020
Yeah, that celebration isn’t appropriate. I thought the BBL was “family friendly”??— Megan Borg (@102megan) January 2, 2020
you forgot that he is representing terroristan by Country.— good to be here (@icdbio) January 2, 2020
Inappropriate behaviour. He is playing cricket. Where is sportsman's spirit. The action display irrelevant terror— Nitesh Ayare (@NiteshAyare) January 3, 2020
The efforts of Rauf helped Melbourne Stars restrict the Sydney Thunder to 142/7. In response, Melbourne Stars lost Nic Maddinson or 0 but Marcus Stoinis and Nick Larkin strung a solid partnership. Both batsmen slammed fifties and shared a 123-run partnership as Melbourne Stars were coasting towards victory. However, Chris Morris sent back both Stoinis and Larkin and when Sams along with Nathan McAndrew took two wickets apiece, Melbourne Stars lost six wickets for 19 runs.
However, Adam Zampa held his nerve and got a single as Melbourne Stars got over the line by three wickets with two balls to spare. With this win, Melbourne Stars are on top of the table with eight points from five games while Sydney Sixers are second with the same number of points but with a lower net run-rate as compared to the Stars. Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder are in third and fourth spot respectively while defending champions Melbourne Renegades are at the bottom with zero points from five games.
Although Melbourne Stars won the contest, all the talk will be on Haris Rauf and his celebration. The latest update is that Rauf has been advised by the Lahore Qalandars management to stop the slit-throat celebration during the Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament.