New Zealand in Australia 2011-12 December 14, 2011

Cricket Australia backs down on Man of the Match

ESPNcricinfo staff

Doug Bracewell's snubbing as Man of the Match in Hobart has forced Cricket Australia to back down on its controversial viewer-voting system. The decision on who should be the Man of the Match will revert to an expert panel after David Warner was given the award for his century at Bellerive Oval, despite Bracewell's match-winning fourth-day spell.

Cricket Australia used the New Zealand series to trial a system in which the public could vote for the official Man of the Match using a mobile phone application. James Pattinson's win in Brisbane was not contentious, but the overwhelming support for Warner - he polled 58% in Hobart to Bracewell's 27% - left the New Zealanders rightly affronted.

"We were always running a bit of a trial for these two Tests with those Man of the Match awards but we will definitely revert back to an expert's choice for that decision about man of the match," Sutherland said on the Melbourne radio station 3AW. However, he was keen to see the continuation of the viewer's choice application, which he called "ahead of its time", in other ways

Bracewell finished with match figures of 9 for 60 and clearly altered the course of the match on the fourth day, when he collected three wickets in nine balls to demolish Australia's middle order and set New Zealand on the path to their first Test win in Australia in 26 years. The New Zealand assistant coach, Trent Woodhill, said the decision was obviously wrong.

"It's embarrassing. David Warner had a fantastic innings. He batted all the way through the innings," Woodhill told Radio Sport. "Doug Bracewell was the player of that match. He took nine wickets for 60, if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have won the match. To me that's who the player of the match should be."

It was not surprising that the public-voting system was controversial - there was always the risk that Australian fans would vote overwhelmingly for Australian players regardless of the result of the game. The traditional method of selecting the Man of the Match, via expert opinion, will resume for the upcoming Test series against India.

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  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    We have had a similar system in new zealand in recently. however it is not voted untill after the game. I saw sri lanker players winning motm voted by new zealanders

  • Tim on December 16, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    @Neil Rankin - They didn't score those 8 runs though did they? Because Doug Bracewell won the match for New Zealand. Which is the whole point of this article and all the outrage.

  • grace on December 15, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Does it really matter!!! Such a good Test match, unnecessary controversy.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    Call it biased if you like, but had Australia scored 8 more runs, then no one word be saying a word......

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    indeed Warner cntury was rmarkble one cz it was bcz of his innings Kangaroos remained in d hunt of d target till d tht shldnt take credit away frm Bracewell's mtch turning spell..Warner's inn was nt game chngng..aussies wre gng nicely till it was Bracewel who swung d momentum in Kiwi's fvour..even when 10th wkt partnrshp ws takng d game away 4m nzealandrs he was d bwler who uprooted d last man...

    CA did one of d cheapest posble thngs to dfame d award z obvious fact dt home crowd wil vote for their countrymen..

  • Steve on December 15, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Don't know why this approach was ever considered - always likely to get the wrong person picked. Warner was the batsman of the match but Bracewell should always have been the Man of the Match.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    I'm an Aussie who was dumbfounded that Bracewell didn't win MotM. Thanks for explaining the unreported mystery of why this inequity happened. If Australia won, Warner wins MotM - when NZ won, Bracewell was the Man who got the job done. I'm one of Dave Warner's biggest fans - even before he played for Australia, we'd go to the SCG merely to see Dave Warner bat for NSW, leaving the SCG when he got out. We saw some genius batting in those good old days. My fave cricket players of all time are: 1. Warner 2. Bradman 3. Sobers - but Bracewell was definitely Man of that amazing Match.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    To be honest I think that it should have been a joint man of the match. bracewell was magnificent and so was warner. watching it at home in sydney was just amazing those last few hours. an incredible test match.

    I was hoping for a tied test. but alas new zealand got those wickets and congratulations to them.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    LOL, "ahead of its time" indeed. What's next, Mr. Sutherland? DRS replaced by a public voting system to decide if the ball pitched outside leg stump? Then maybe, a public poll to decide bowling changes, field settings, and batting order for the home team? Just so that you know, "ahead of its time" doesn't mean "I can make money out of this thing."

  • Tim on December 15, 2011, 2:40 GMT

    I think the system was retarded myself. I agree with some of the thoughts saying that MotM shouldn't even exist. But that's beside the point really, because it DOES exist. The reason I think so many people voted for Warner is because the stupid system they had in place was asking people to vote for the award before the match was over. I was watching it thinking oh god this is a recipe for disaster. Of course all the Australian voters are gonna vote for a guy who has almost won the match for Australia. The game came down to the wire really, and the voting should have taken place AFTER the game was finished. I like to think Doug Bracewell would have gotten it then. Really embarrassing he wasn't awarded the MotM, but asking viewers (or anyone) to vote for the award before the game ends? What bright spark thought that up? You can't blame the biased Australian public fully for this silliness as it was a stupid money spinner and the decision should have come after the game had ended.

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