The umpires who clashed with Kevin Pietersen on Tuesday night say the tape on the Adelaide bowler Kieron Pollard's hand gave him "no advantage whatsoever."
With Pietersen's Melbourne Stars chasing 153 to win against Pollard's Strikers at the MCG, play was halted mid-innings when Pietersen demanded that the West Indian take off protective tape on his hand before he began bowling. The incident sparked recollections of Australian batsman Dean Jones asking West Indian firebrand Curtly Amrbose to remove a white wrist band before bowling in a1992 one-day international.
Pietersen said during Channel 10's broadcast of the match that umpires Tony Ward and Paul Wilson had been split on whether what Pollard was wearing was fair, before he eventually relented.
"I just want to get him to take that off his hand. I don't think it's right," Pietersen said.
"One umpire says it's fair and the other umpire says it's not, so I said I'm not going to bat until it's off'."
Pollard had grown frustrated with the situation at the time.
"I don't think we've got a solution here," Pietersen said. "(But) we get on with it. It's T20 cricket. We play in the rain, we play in everything. Why not?"
Explaining the decision to allow Pollard to don the tape, Ward said the fact the bowler had played with it on through the entire tournament had been a factor in making the call.
"Kevin Pietersen wanted Kieron Pollard to take off the tape that was on his hand and we didn't think it was necessary," Ward told Optus Sport.
"He's worn it all tournament and it doesn't enhance his bowling and our decision was that it's OK."
Wilson agreed. "It was more that it was a prolonged discussion, so you've got to get together as a team," Wilson said of the need to step in alongside Ward during the on-field drama," the former Australian bowler said.
"When I came across and Kieron showed me his hand, it was pretty obvious that it was no advantage to him whatsoever."
Chasing 153 to win at the MCG, the Stars looked in trouble on 6-107 before some late heroics from tailender Ben Hilfenhaus steered them to a two-wicket victory in the final over.
Hilfenhaus belted 18, including a six and two fours, off a single Wes Agar over to finish unbeaten on 32 off 24 balls.
Pietersen made 32 off 29 balls before being run out by new Strikers import Ish Sodhi.
The New Zealand legspinner impressed on debut, taking 2-25 off four overs.
The Strikers earlier made 8-152 after being sent in to bat, with Ben Dunk top- scoring with 35 off 25 balls.
Dunk, the BBL's second-best run-scorer this season, hit five fours before David Hussey took a brilliant catch at full stretch off Liam Bowe's bowling.
Bowe, a bespectacled 19-year-old nicknamed 'Wizard' for his resemblance to Harry Potter, finished with 1-21 off three overs in his BBL debut.
Hilfenhaus took 2-21 alongside his batting heroics for a clear man-of-the-match performance.
The story Stroppy Kevin Pietersen in strapping spat with BBL umpires as Stars stick it to Strikers first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.