Scorchers’ coach Adam Voges confirmed that Hardie had been preferred over the wicketkeeper due to a preference for the skipper to be closer to the bowler in the field for ease and efficiency of communication.
“Josh is excellent from a strategy point of view,” Voges said. “But I guess there are limitations in what your keeper can do, particularly when the heat comes on. And if you’re a bit time-poor within your innings, which generally we are, then it’s really difficult to have those conversations and that connection with the bowling group and I think we saw that the other night a little bit when Ash did go off the field and so that was part of the decision-making process. But, if it had gone the other way we’d gone with Josh we would have been confident in him as well.”
Hardie has been part an unofficial part of the leadership group this season and has sat in all of the Scorchers’ strategy meetings with the captain and coach throughout the start of the tournament.
“First and foremost, we’re all wishing AT a speedy recovery,” Hardie said. “He’s been a fantastic captain and player for a long time, and is certainly somebody the squad looks up to.
“Personally, it’s a privilege to lead this team in his absence, and a challenge I’m keen to embrace.
“We have plenty of experience and leadership within the side. One of our great strengths is we’re comfortable using that experience and knowledge to make the team better as a collective.
“I’m sure the whole squad will remain focused and united to give us the best chance of winning another title.”
Voges said his club had accepted the decision but thinks there should be some accountability for water getting on the covered pitch.
“It is what it is,” Voges said. “We’ve moved on. That decision has been official now for a little while. And it’s not unlike a washout, had we not gone on at all. So we take the point and we’ll keep moving.
“In terms of what the playing conditions say, from a points perspective, I don’t think there’s too much that can be done in that sense. But absolutely, I think that accountability and responsibility needs to lay somewhere.”