Cruel Waugh sledge causes a stir
Mr Bean did plenty of brilliant things in his time on TV but playing in a Big Bash final wasn't one of them. Or was it?
Aussie legend and Fox Cricket commentator Mark Waugh has caused a stir after comparing Melbourne Renegades hero Harry Gurney to the loveable character, played by Rowan Atkinson, and saying the fast bowler looked like a fourth grade trundler.
The 32-year-old Brit starred for the Gades in their 13-run win over cross-town rivals the Stars in yesterday's BBL final, conceding just five runs an over as he finished with 1/20 from his four overs.
A limited overs specialist, Gurney's bowling at the death has been one of the major reason the Renegades went on to win this season's title, even if he doesn't look like your archetypal cricketer, according to Waugh.
"He reminds me of a left-arm Mr Bean, Harry Gurney," Waugh said in commentary for Fox Sports.
"He's the sort of player, if he rocked up to play fourth grade for Bankstown and you watched him bowl you'd say, 'Yeah OK, we'll give him another game'.
"I'm not saying he's not a good bowler but just his appearance and what you see …"
It was a lighthearted jab that was taken in the spirit it was intended by Gurney.
The fast bowler was more than happy to poke fun at himself as he responded to Waugh's characterisation while celebrating the Renegades' maiden BBL championship.
"I've often over the years jokingly referred to myself as a professional cricketer playing with a 50-year-old accountant's body," Gurney said.
"I'm not the most athletic, I think I've had some strength and conditioning coaches tear their hair out over the years with me.
"There would be a few accountants playing fourth grade cricket so it's probably a fair assessment."
Gurney took to social media on Monday to continue his self-depreciating assessment, tagging Waugh in a tweet with the perfect comeback to the Test great's jibes.
Gurney's teammate Dan Christian, who won match of the match honours for saving the Renegades' innings with a crucial 38 not out from 30 balls and taking 2/33 with the ball, defended his side's star bowler and also sledged Waugh in the process.
"He's an absolute gun. He's the best death bowler I've played with anywhere around the world," Christian said of Gurney. "I'd love to see Mark Waugh face him at the death, I don't think he'd be able to get him.
"He's got too many tricks, he bowls the perfect yorker, he's a gun so I was really pleased for him to close that game out for us again.
"He did a great job for us all season."
Waugh was forced to defend himself after Gurney - and others - responded to his Mr Bean lookalike claim, saying he was only commenting on the quick's appearance and not disparaging his ability to perform.
NO REST FOR FINCH
The champagne corks will still be popping following the Renegades' first BBL title when Aaron Finch flies out with the Australian ODI squad for the tour of India.
The Australian skipper will have little time to celebrate Sunday's breathtaking win over the Stars at Marvel Stadium, departing for the two T20 and five-game ODI series on Monday.
The joyous scenes that followed the 13-run win would seem just the tonic to soothe Finch's frayed nerves after a frustrating summer.
Dropped from the Test team and out of form in the white-ball game, a candid Finch has described recent months as one of the most challenging periods of his career.
But while thrilled with the win, the 32-year-old said he didn't need it to propel him into the tour with a full head of steam.
"I don't think you need anything to put a pep in your step when you're going on an Aussie tour, particularly to India," Finch said.
"If you're slightly off the mark you're going to get hurt.
"They're the best side in one-day cricket in their own conditions, I think, so you've got to go there full of confidence and have a real clear game plan."
The story looked almost certain to have a different ending for Finch and the Renegades, who were in deep trouble before the Stars capitulated, losing 7/19. Finch appeared to have regained some touch in the first innings before he was run out on 13 backing up at the non-striker's end following a fluky deflection off Jackson Bird's boot.
As he disappeared down the tunnel, his frustrations boiled to the surface, the opener smashing a plastic chair with his bat then giving it another whack as it bounced back at him just for good measure.
"It just about sums up my summer," a smiling Finch said of his desperately unlucky dismissal.
"It's a tough one. You're looking to score, you're looking to rotate the strike early but it happens.
"I felt like I was hitting the ball really nicely … just not for long enough."