Cricket: Mark Howard gives Brad Hodge competitive advantage mid-match

Ben Laughlin after taking the wicket of Shane Watson during the Big Bash League Semi Final in 2016. Photo / Getty Images
Ben Laughlin after taking the wicket of Shane Watson during the Big Bash League Semi Final in 2016. Photo / Getty Images

It was not a great look for the Big Bash League last night when Australian Channel 10 commentator Mark Howard offered Adelaide Strikers captain Brad Hodge some statistical analysis during live broadcast.

It could be argued that Howard gave Hodge a competitive advantage in telling him that Strikers bowler Ben Laughlin had a good record against Sydney Thunder batsman Shane Watson.

Upon hearing that Laughlin had taken Watson's wicket twice from eight balls in previous matchups, Hodge put him into bowling attack for the next over.

As more than 1 million watched the broadcast on television - and millions of dollars were being invested on live betting - Howard told Hodge: "Our master statistician Lawrie Colliver tells us Laughlin has got Watson twice in the last eight balls he's bowled him in this competition."

"Really?" Hodge says.

"I'll leave that with you skipper," Howard said.

Hodge laughed and said: "I'll bring him on next over then. Let's get him into the game. Next over bud."

The move was far from earth-shattering as Watson scored a boundary off Laughlin almost immediately.

It's fair to say that Watson was probably already aware of Laughlin's track record.

"That's what happens, there are always match-ups, some guys have success against you, some guys don't," Watson said.

Sydney Thunder boss Nick Cummins later added that Laughlin would have been familiar with his success rate against Watson.

However, the timing and nature of the conversation was less than ideal, especially given cricket officials have previously voiced concerns about information being abused by punters.

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