Pakistan in Australia 2004-05 February 9, 2005

Bowden turns down Woolmer umpiring appeal

Cricinfo staff

Billy Bowden says his decisions are not influenced by the players or crowds © Getty Images

Billy Bowden has dismissed Bob Woolmer's suggestions that the umpires were "subconsciously" pressured by Australia's appealing and crowds, while John Buchanan believes that the comments are offensive. But Waqar Younis and Mark Richardson supported the theory of Woolmer, whose reasearch showed close calls went 29-6 against Pakistan during their recent tour.

Bowden, who stood in two of the Tests and four VB Series matches, said that he didn't care if one or eleven players appealed. "It doesn't worry me, and neither does the crowd because I've made my decision before they get excited," Bowden told Wellington's Dominion Post. "I haven't got a problem with any team and every team has a right to appeal. Australia don't really appeal, they expect it, it comes with confidence, but it doesn't change the way I rule on things." Bowden said he had a great series and received good feedback about his performances.

Waqar, a Channel Nine commentator, told the Brisbane Courier-Mail that there were some really poor decisions in the one-day matches, and most of them went against Pakistan. Woolmer said that his side was denied five times in the first final, and a sixth in the first over of the second when Adam Gilchrist was hit in front.

"I don't think [Woolmer] is wrong, though I am not sure about his counting," Waqar said. "These decisions that went against Pakistan should be checked properly. The ICC should look at why they have been done. One or two are part of the game, but to get the amount that went against Pakistan ..."

The Pakistan Cricket Board has asked the ICC for two neutral umpires in one-day matches, which would bring limited-overs games into line with Tests. Woolmer also said that he would consider training his players to appeal after watching Australia convince the umpires with theirs.

Buchanan, the Australian coach, told AAP that the umpires had the right to be offended by Woolmer's verdict. "He needs to be careful in what he says," Buchanan said. "At the end of any game the focus always tends to be on the one or two decisions that may have gone against a side, but we need to accept that umpires are having to make a huge number of decisions every game and we can't expect them all to be right."

Buchanan said that there were procedures to deal with problems such as excessive and intimidating appealing. "The referee and umpires would have stepped in immediately if that was the case," he said. "They would be in their rights to have an objection to the suggestions being made. For someone who has been in such a senior position [at the ICC], I would think certain individuals would take a very dim view of some of these comments."

Richardson, who retired after the two-Test series against Australia in November, said that the Kiwis were upset by close decisions favouring the home side during the tour. "We felt things went against us when we were over there, and I think the same will occur here," Richardson told the Dominion Post. "The Aussies are very good at putting pressure on the umps. Shane Warne's the best, he will talk and talk."

Richardson said that the standing of the player also counted in the umpire's mind. "They are revered over there, and it's hard for the umpires not to get carried away by the environment they are in," he said. "They love their cricket, that is why they are umpiring, but they too can become in awe of the team."

He also said Adam Gilchrist tried to "burgle" batsmen and raised the statistic that he had never been dismissed lbw in a home Test. "You see the way Gilly throws the ball in the air," he said. "He tends to play on his walking, his honesty, but he still tries to burgle anyone and everyone. We couldn't get Gilly and it gets to you. You hit him in front, you don't get it and it does your head in." Gilchrist did not respond to Richardson's comments.