England’s wicket-keeper Jos Buttler is on the verge of landing on a big trouble with world cricket’s governing body as a result of a vulgar message written on the top of his bat’s handle. He played a match-winning knock of 80 not out as England beat Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs within three days at Headingley on Sunday to win the second Test and so end the two-match series all-square at 1-1.
But during a break in play, television cameras highlighted the words “F**k it” written on the top of his bat handle. For Buttler, it is a way of reminding himself not to get too wrapped up in the pressure of top-level sport.
But the International Cricket Council may take a different view. The ICC’s clothing and equipment rules and regulations state: “Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment unless approved in advance by both the player or team official’s board and the ICC Cricket Operations Department… the ICC shall have the final say in determining whether any such message is approved.”
It seems that Jos didn’t get a prior approval for the words on his bat and there is the precedent for them taking action against players in similar circumstances. Whether ICC will now depend on whether the umpires decide to charge Buttler and, in turn, how match referee Jeff Crowe responds.
Buttler, explaining why he marks the top of all his bats in this way, said: “I think it’s just something that reminds me of what my best mindset is — when I’m playing cricket and probably in life as well. It puts cricket in perspective. When you ‘nick off’, does it really matter?”
He further added: “It’s just a good reminder when I’m in the middle when I’m questioning myself, and it brings me back to a good place.”