Fourth Test, Melbourne December 29, 2006

Rudiwatch continued

I wasn't in a position to see a replay of Rudi Koertzen's refusal of the lbw appeal against Alistair Cook, so suspended judgement, and have only just caught up with it
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I wasn't in a position to see a replay of Rudi Koertzen's refusal of the lbw appeal against Alistair Cook, so suspended judgement, and have only just caught up with it. Laughable. Perhaps there's something significant in Koertzen using his left hand, and he would give correct decisions if he swapped to his right. Umpires build reputations as 'outers' and 'not outers', according to the burden of evidence they expect for upholding an appeal. The trouble with Koertzen is that he seems completely unpredictable, giving everything one day and nothing the next. Anyway, happy new year and maintain your rage.

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • youarehavingalaugh on January 7, 2007, 17:51 GMT

    Australia - 16 lbws.England - 5 lbws.

  • Choda Boy on January 3, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    Please, enough of the wishy-washy generalisations that Rudi Koertzen is just like the rest "umpires are human too and like the players, will make mistakes". The fact is that Rudi IS a sub-standard umpire and always has been. It's been a constant source of bemusement to me that he kept getting voted "umpire of the year". We've been amazed by his incompetence every summer in Australia for years but as usual, it's not until somebody else feels like they're getting ripped off that it suddenly becomes an issue.

    And Graham, the "let's see you do any better" argument is a pathetic primary-school crack. No-one here is saying that they could do better, and anyway our relative inabilities do not excuse somebody else from impersonating an elite umpire. If you want the profile and the large salary, you need to be good. It's that simple.

  • Tony on January 2, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    95% seems to be a commonly specified accuracy rate for correct decisions, can anyone get the ego maniac that was sacked by the ICC for poor performance but actually scored above that mark. Do the statistics lie?

    The fact is last series Australia weren't good enough to capitalise on umpiring mistakes, this series its England that are below par. No one is making an issue out of the errors in favour of the English batsman because Ponting's men create opportunities for wickets at a prolific rate.

    Rudi has made some really bad calls (every umpire named in this blog has), but the rub of the green goes with the team playing with confidence and enthusiasm.

    England need to learn from this loss the way Australia had to in 2005. While England celebrated, Buchanan was planning. MBE's might be a reward for success, but hard work is how England achieved that success, and how quickly did they forget.

  • Ric on January 2, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    Blame the ICC. Umpires will always be like the players - good some days, not so good others.

    Hawkeye is not 100% accurate but the degree of error is so small that LBWs could be given, provided the delivery has made it eligible for LBW, where the predicted path has part of the ball connecting with middle stump and none of the ball above bail height.

    Another benefit is that home umpires could again be used for all Tests and ODIs. Perhaps a neutral TV umpire, but either way it reduces costs and minimises umpire burnout. Some umpires won't want it but the aim should be to reduce umpiring errors when it can be done promptly enough.

  • Charles on December 31, 2006, 12:27 GMT

    Rudi was an umpire in 2005 was he not? I don't remember all this hullabaloo about when England were winning a series. I seem to remember Damien Martyn having 3 bad decisions go against him, but that's cricket. Take it on the chin and move on...

  • PTB Doc on December 31, 2006, 6:03 GMT

    As I said in a comment to an earlier blog, Rudi is having an absolute shocker. And it's not just this series. It's been going on for a bit. I'd take Bucknor, Dar or Bowden over him although all of them visited shockerville in Ashes 2005 and in more recent series. Bucknor WAS a better umpire than all of them but I think Dar is the best umpire out of that lot at the moment. If you think Katich's reaction to Dar's decision in 2005 and a couple of clowns in the crowd was overstated then you should have seen mine 10500 miles away. I haven't thought of Hair as an umpire for a long time. I think he ceased being an umpire the second he released his first book in the nineties. Then he simply became a living billboard for it. And Hawkeye, it's a joke. Not only the leg break turned wrong un that George mentioned, but also another one of Warne's in 2005 or 05/06 that according to Hawkeye would have bounced twice before hitting the stumps after one of the commentators mistakenly commented that he thought it was going to keep low, even though to the naked eye it looked to be kicking and bouncing well over the stumps.

  • Graham on December 31, 2006, 3:54 GMT

    I am Aussie through and through, to me umpiring is not an easy job and not one that I would like to take on....

    Do any of you critising umpires have the fortitude to step out in front of 75,000 people and get every decision perfect?

    Besides if they were always right we would have a lot less to talk about

  • George on December 30, 2006, 15:15 GMT

    Yes, Rudi is a poor umpire, but to see some of your commenters above slamming Koertzen & Hair, while praising the comically woeful Bucknor, Dar, Bowden and Hawkeye is a bit much. Although the latter 4 have been slightly less dreadful on this tour than in 2005, surely memories aren't that short? Like the ball that pitched well outside leg and going over the top to Katich being given lbw? Or the thick inside edge that travelled several centimetres horizontally onto Martyn's pad being given lbw? Or the time Hawkeye somehow showed Shane Warne's leg break spinning the wrong way? Or the countless Warne lbw's not given? Rudi shouldn't be made a scapegoat for generally poor standards on the ICC umpiring panel just because he lacks the melanin-powered force field that makes incompetence invisible to the politically correct.

  • hoss on December 30, 2006, 13:51 GMT

    Brad hit the nail on the head when identifying the difference between technological analysis and human error. At what point do you start to tread too far on the adjudicators decisions with technology? It is up to the ICC to decide whether or not they introduce more opportunity for third umpire decisions, but will the game be watchable if every shout is sent upstairs for review? Despite this, I still thought that Rudi was a more worthy candidate for man of the match than the sentimental home town favourite.

  • Peter on December 30, 2006, 13:26 GMT

    Mike, we Aussies aren't saying you can't comment, but it wears a bit thin when all we seem to hear comment on is how England were robbed. And no mention of the ones that go your way. This particular blog was about Rudi's refusal of a plumb lbw appeal against Cook, but there's only been comment about Hayden's great escape. Both sides benefitted, but because Hayden went on to score 150, and Cook could only add another 12, you think it's unfair? Blame your bowlers, not the umpire - that's why we aren't getting an even contest...

  • youarehavingalaugh on January 7, 2007, 17:51 GMT

    Australia - 16 lbws.England - 5 lbws.

  • Choda Boy on January 3, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    Please, enough of the wishy-washy generalisations that Rudi Koertzen is just like the rest "umpires are human too and like the players, will make mistakes". The fact is that Rudi IS a sub-standard umpire and always has been. It's been a constant source of bemusement to me that he kept getting voted "umpire of the year". We've been amazed by his incompetence every summer in Australia for years but as usual, it's not until somebody else feels like they're getting ripped off that it suddenly becomes an issue.

    And Graham, the "let's see you do any better" argument is a pathetic primary-school crack. No-one here is saying that they could do better, and anyway our relative inabilities do not excuse somebody else from impersonating an elite umpire. If you want the profile and the large salary, you need to be good. It's that simple.

  • Tony on January 2, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    95% seems to be a commonly specified accuracy rate for correct decisions, can anyone get the ego maniac that was sacked by the ICC for poor performance but actually scored above that mark. Do the statistics lie?

    The fact is last series Australia weren't good enough to capitalise on umpiring mistakes, this series its England that are below par. No one is making an issue out of the errors in favour of the English batsman because Ponting's men create opportunities for wickets at a prolific rate.

    Rudi has made some really bad calls (every umpire named in this blog has), but the rub of the green goes with the team playing with confidence and enthusiasm.

    England need to learn from this loss the way Australia had to in 2005. While England celebrated, Buchanan was planning. MBE's might be a reward for success, but hard work is how England achieved that success, and how quickly did they forget.

  • Ric on January 2, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    Blame the ICC. Umpires will always be like the players - good some days, not so good others.

    Hawkeye is not 100% accurate but the degree of error is so small that LBWs could be given, provided the delivery has made it eligible for LBW, where the predicted path has part of the ball connecting with middle stump and none of the ball above bail height.

    Another benefit is that home umpires could again be used for all Tests and ODIs. Perhaps a neutral TV umpire, but either way it reduces costs and minimises umpire burnout. Some umpires won't want it but the aim should be to reduce umpiring errors when it can be done promptly enough.

  • Charles on December 31, 2006, 12:27 GMT

    Rudi was an umpire in 2005 was he not? I don't remember all this hullabaloo about when England were winning a series. I seem to remember Damien Martyn having 3 bad decisions go against him, but that's cricket. Take it on the chin and move on...

  • PTB Doc on December 31, 2006, 6:03 GMT

    As I said in a comment to an earlier blog, Rudi is having an absolute shocker. And it's not just this series. It's been going on for a bit. I'd take Bucknor, Dar or Bowden over him although all of them visited shockerville in Ashes 2005 and in more recent series. Bucknor WAS a better umpire than all of them but I think Dar is the best umpire out of that lot at the moment. If you think Katich's reaction to Dar's decision in 2005 and a couple of clowns in the crowd was overstated then you should have seen mine 10500 miles away. I haven't thought of Hair as an umpire for a long time. I think he ceased being an umpire the second he released his first book in the nineties. Then he simply became a living billboard for it. And Hawkeye, it's a joke. Not only the leg break turned wrong un that George mentioned, but also another one of Warne's in 2005 or 05/06 that according to Hawkeye would have bounced twice before hitting the stumps after one of the commentators mistakenly commented that he thought it was going to keep low, even though to the naked eye it looked to be kicking and bouncing well over the stumps.

  • Graham on December 31, 2006, 3:54 GMT

    I am Aussie through and through, to me umpiring is not an easy job and not one that I would like to take on....

    Do any of you critising umpires have the fortitude to step out in front of 75,000 people and get every decision perfect?

    Besides if they were always right we would have a lot less to talk about

  • George on December 30, 2006, 15:15 GMT

    Yes, Rudi is a poor umpire, but to see some of your commenters above slamming Koertzen & Hair, while praising the comically woeful Bucknor, Dar, Bowden and Hawkeye is a bit much. Although the latter 4 have been slightly less dreadful on this tour than in 2005, surely memories aren't that short? Like the ball that pitched well outside leg and going over the top to Katich being given lbw? Or the thick inside edge that travelled several centimetres horizontally onto Martyn's pad being given lbw? Or the time Hawkeye somehow showed Shane Warne's leg break spinning the wrong way? Or the countless Warne lbw's not given? Rudi shouldn't be made a scapegoat for generally poor standards on the ICC umpiring panel just because he lacks the melanin-powered force field that makes incompetence invisible to the politically correct.

  • hoss on December 30, 2006, 13:51 GMT

    Brad hit the nail on the head when identifying the difference between technological analysis and human error. At what point do you start to tread too far on the adjudicators decisions with technology? It is up to the ICC to decide whether or not they introduce more opportunity for third umpire decisions, but will the game be watchable if every shout is sent upstairs for review? Despite this, I still thought that Rudi was a more worthy candidate for man of the match than the sentimental home town favourite.

  • Peter on December 30, 2006, 13:26 GMT

    Mike, we Aussies aren't saying you can't comment, but it wears a bit thin when all we seem to hear comment on is how England were robbed. And no mention of the ones that go your way. This particular blog was about Rudi's refusal of a plumb lbw appeal against Cook, but there's only been comment about Hayden's great escape. Both sides benefitted, but because Hayden went on to score 150, and Cook could only add another 12, you think it's unfair? Blame your bowlers, not the umpire - that's why we aren't getting an even contest...

  • k on December 30, 2006, 11:20 GMT

    Have you people not seen the new stumps being used this series? They're a little wider apart, so the ball can actually slip between them. If you look back at these so called "shocking" decisions, I think you will clearly see that all are passing through the gap between middle and off.

    Geez folks, get your info right before you hurt Rudi's feelings, hey?

  • Nick on December 30, 2006, 10:55 GMT

    Ah Gideon! you've hit up the perfect spin-off blog. Once the Eye on the ashes (buffy) winds down rudiwatch will have to continue on as its own show (angel)

  • Mike on December 30, 2006, 7:33 GMT

    C'mon guys, no-one is suggesting that England would have magically gone on and won the game even with Australia 6/84 (assuming Hayden was given out). England's performance was abysmal and they deserved to lose. But they also deserve a fair go from whoever is umpiring. At least it might have made the test more even and fair. England's batting was appalling but I don't think their bowlers deserved to lose by an innings. Surely we all want a fair contest.

    I know media bias is a dirty word in Australia at the moment but you won't find a more independent source than Gideon Haigh. We should all be allowed to make comment without being vilified for being too English or not Australian enough.

  • CB Fry on December 30, 2006, 6:06 GMT

    Just a note to Gareth: Symonds was caught on the back pad in front of middle when he was on 52: the umpire was again that man Rudi, not Aleem Dar as you stated.

  • Brad on December 30, 2006, 5:53 GMT

    umpires dont make mistakes, they make desicions only technology shows it to be a bad desicion stop beefing about umpires and start looking at how technology makes every thing clinical

  • CB Fry on December 30, 2006, 5:23 GMT

    Mark - England would have lost this series, Rudi or no Rudi, make no mistake about that. Strauss has always been a non-walker, even with thick edges, so let's not feel too sorry for him, I've seen him benefit in the past. The Rudi debate is independent of why England lost.

  • Gareth on December 30, 2006, 5:09 GMT

    Why do so many people on these blogs confuse the making of a valid point with supporting your national team? As any fule kno, Gideon is half-English and half-Australian, so is well positioned to judge the performance of the umpire. FACT, Eric- Rudi made three shocking decisions over the course of the match- Hayden (twice) and Cook. Aleem Dar made one shocker when giving Symonds not out against Panesar. Unfortunately, whereas the mistakes "cost" England 240-odd runs, they only cost Australia 10. That's down to the skills of the team, not the umpires.

  • Bert on December 30, 2006, 4:10 GMT

    Rudi probably looks worse or more inconsistent this series because when he rules not-out for English batsmen, they've got out fairly soon afterwards anyway, while the Australian batsmen have gone on to post big scores.

  • chris on December 30, 2006, 4:04 GMT

    where were the english complaints last ashes series when dar, bowden and bucknor nearly destroyed damien martyn's career with a series of abysmal decisions, among many other poor decisions?

    Either be consistent in your complaints or shut up and deal with it. Your as pathetic as the english and aussie tabloids.

  • Big Max on December 30, 2006, 4:02 GMT

    If you want perfect umpiring, use technology like in the ICC Test 15 months ago. Umpires are human and make errors. Koertzen had a shocker. I am convinced that he lost confidence during the Perth Test due to the variable bounce, and decided to bedome ulta-conservative for the Melbourne Test where the ball was swinging and spinning a mile. Players under-perform and they are dropped. Umpires should be subject to a similar system. The Aussies got bad decisions at crucial times in 2005, and it would be fair to say that the Poms have suffered this time. If you don't want to use the technology available, then just get used to the human error of umpires. At least cricket is better than soccer where no technology is used at all, and where one dodgy ref decision can end a team's efforts period.

  • Valerio DiBattista on December 30, 2006, 3:31 GMT

    Matthew Hayden stands in front of all three stumps and is not given out LBW when the ball pitches on middle, straightens, strikes him on middle between his knee and ankle, the only doubt being whether it will hit the middle of middle stump or just glance the middle stump. How the first one was not given out is beyond me, the second one you can understand if you really push yourself. Without speculating on why this happens (as overwhelming a temptation as it is), I will leave it simply that Hayden should have been given out LBW early in his innings, as simple as that. Very poor umpiring indeed.

  • Wayne Lavis on December 30, 2006, 3:06 GMT

    It's time the best umpires umpired - regardless of country of origin. This isn't the 70's, where the subcontinent umpires had a one-sided bias so blatant it brought about our current set of "thou shalt not umpire thy own side" rules: there are that many cameras focused on every aspect of the game, that any bias is going to be picked up and thrashed about by commentators and media alike before the end of the over, let alone the end of the end of the match.

    Bring on Taufell for the Ashes. He's regarded as the best by all and sundry - why is isn't he on show for the biggest challenges (IMHO)around: the Ashes and the Border/Gavaskar trophy?

  • r1nce on December 30, 2006, 2:10 GMT

    All umpires make mistakes and have the occasional bad game.

    For all the posturing by the English during this game, they seem to have forgotten the 2005 Ashes when it was OK for the ball to pitch outside leg and still be given out LBW if you were an Australian.

    Rudi's a generally good umpire who had a bad game. Players aren't the only people involved in cricket that can have a form slump.

  • DAVID L on December 30, 2006, 1:58 GMT

    swings and roundabouts. To Eric, Why is it about South Africans? Gideon didn't once mention nationality in his comment. Rudi as an umpire is open to criticism regardless of his background. Reminds me of how another person responds to criticism...Arjuna where are you when we need you.

  • Justin on December 30, 2006, 1:32 GMT

    Please. It's all good to criticize umpires decisions, but let's not act like Strauss could have magically fixed every problem England had on the tour (there have been many) - or that Australia haven't had their own share of dodgy calls. Australia still would have won, we'd just be focused more on the cricket, than some dink of an umpire.

  • Mike on December 30, 2006, 0:41 GMT

    I'm getting carried away here (read my post in the other Rudiwatch!) but this is not good. There were others not mentioned here too. Mahmood's LBW to Warne (missing off stump), Flintoff's off-cutter LBW shout against Symmonds (as plumb as the two Hoggard ones), Harmison caught at slip off the glove (given not out when it was blatantly out).

    They were consistent alright - consistently inconsistent. The case for robot umpires is growing every day. Maybe we need to face the fact that with the scrutiny these guys are under a little help would be handy. Just an instantaneous little alarm in their ear when hawkeye indicates it is hitting/missing etc. It doesn't need to be perfect, just consistent. 95% correct would be fine with me.

  • mark on December 29, 2006, 23:12 GMT

    While i am a stalwart fan of umpirees without technology, one does wonder how different the series would have been had Andrew Strauss only been adjudged out when he was actually out...?

  • Justin on December 29, 2006, 15:51 GMT

    He is consistent though. If it's out, don't give it out. If it's not out, give it out.

    What an embarrasing performance he put in.

  • Morgan on December 29, 2006, 15:05 GMT

    Indeed he was horrible and inconsistent as you remarked. Maybe time for a demotion? It would seem thst way to everyone but the ICC.

  • TimmyZ on December 29, 2006, 15:04 GMT

    I don't rate Rudi as an umpire at all. He appears to get delight in his authority to turn down an appeal and give a batsmen not out when he is absolutely plumb, whether it is really out or not doesn't matter to him. He is more interested in carrying on with his slow hand luke impersonation.

    His appalling decisions to turn down Hoggards two appeals and give Mathew Hayden not out and then Symonds not out against Panesar, when they were both obviously caught dead lbw, were nothing short of disgraceful.

    The England team might be too polite to say it but it changed the whole test match and I think Rudi should be sacked for that disgraceful display. It was simply not good enough. Give me Billy Bowden and Steve Bucknor anyday.

  • CB Fry on December 29, 2006, 14:04 GMT

    I quite agree with you about Koertzen, Gideon. He actually seems to be a nice bloke, unlike that ego-maniac Hair. But his umpiring is very inconsistent. God only knows why the Aussies voted him best umpire a year ago (maybe because Warne manipulates him so well?). Koertzen has one half of umpiring sorted out: it's a people job, and requires a certain amount of humility and common sense. This is where Hair is all at sea. But it's also a profession that requires a certain level of technical competence and a high degree of consistency. This is where Rudi is found wanting. Come on ICC, sort it out, we need more Taufels and Dars.

  • suburban umpy on December 29, 2006, 10:36 GMT

    With LBW's, batsman like to know that you have taken a moment to consider all aspects of the appeal; -Where did the ball pitch? -Did it move in the air? -Did it move off the pitch? -Did it hit them in line? -Was it going to continue on and hit? -Was there an inside edge onto the pads?

    Like a lot of umpires Rudi makes up his mind straight away. The slow raising of the finger could seriously only be for dramatic effect. The players must know that as soon as his left hand moves it's out.

    Interestingly his left hand actually stuttered as he made the poor decision on Strauss in Perth.

  • Eric on December 29, 2006, 8:46 GMT

    As a loyal South African, I am getting sick and tired of your comments about Rudi Koertzen. Every umpire makes many mistakes - FACT. Get over it.

    We (South Africans) have also had terrible decisions made against us. Darrell Hair for one made many questionable decisions. Against England, there was the Pakistan umpire whose twitchy finger shot up every time the ball hit the pad of a South African. But do you hear us go on and on for ever about it ? (Apart from now) It is time to get a new scriptwriter and to leave Rudi alone.

    The fact is that Australia have been very good and England very bad. That is all there is to it. Accept a kick up the backside like a man and learn from it rather than blaming the umpires.

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  • Eric on December 29, 2006, 8:46 GMT

    As a loyal South African, I am getting sick and tired of your comments about Rudi Koertzen. Every umpire makes many mistakes - FACT. Get over it.

    We (South Africans) have also had terrible decisions made against us. Darrell Hair for one made many questionable decisions. Against England, there was the Pakistan umpire whose twitchy finger shot up every time the ball hit the pad of a South African. But do you hear us go on and on for ever about it ? (Apart from now) It is time to get a new scriptwriter and to leave Rudi alone.

    The fact is that Australia have been very good and England very bad. That is all there is to it. Accept a kick up the backside like a man and learn from it rather than blaming the umpires.

  • suburban umpy on December 29, 2006, 10:36 GMT

    With LBW's, batsman like to know that you have taken a moment to consider all aspects of the appeal; -Where did the ball pitch? -Did it move in the air? -Did it move off the pitch? -Did it hit them in line? -Was it going to continue on and hit? -Was there an inside edge onto the pads?

    Like a lot of umpires Rudi makes up his mind straight away. The slow raising of the finger could seriously only be for dramatic effect. The players must know that as soon as his left hand moves it's out.

    Interestingly his left hand actually stuttered as he made the poor decision on Strauss in Perth.

  • CB Fry on December 29, 2006, 14:04 GMT

    I quite agree with you about Koertzen, Gideon. He actually seems to be a nice bloke, unlike that ego-maniac Hair. But his umpiring is very inconsistent. God only knows why the Aussies voted him best umpire a year ago (maybe because Warne manipulates him so well?). Koertzen has one half of umpiring sorted out: it's a people job, and requires a certain amount of humility and common sense. This is where Hair is all at sea. But it's also a profession that requires a certain level of technical competence and a high degree of consistency. This is where Rudi is found wanting. Come on ICC, sort it out, we need more Taufels and Dars.

  • TimmyZ on December 29, 2006, 15:04 GMT

    I don't rate Rudi as an umpire at all. He appears to get delight in his authority to turn down an appeal and give a batsmen not out when he is absolutely plumb, whether it is really out or not doesn't matter to him. He is more interested in carrying on with his slow hand luke impersonation.

    His appalling decisions to turn down Hoggards two appeals and give Mathew Hayden not out and then Symonds not out against Panesar, when they were both obviously caught dead lbw, were nothing short of disgraceful.

    The England team might be too polite to say it but it changed the whole test match and I think Rudi should be sacked for that disgraceful display. It was simply not good enough. Give me Billy Bowden and Steve Bucknor anyday.

  • Morgan on December 29, 2006, 15:05 GMT

    Indeed he was horrible and inconsistent as you remarked. Maybe time for a demotion? It would seem thst way to everyone but the ICC.

  • Justin on December 29, 2006, 15:51 GMT

    He is consistent though. If it's out, don't give it out. If it's not out, give it out.

    What an embarrasing performance he put in.

  • mark on December 29, 2006, 23:12 GMT

    While i am a stalwart fan of umpirees without technology, one does wonder how different the series would have been had Andrew Strauss only been adjudged out when he was actually out...?

  • Mike on December 30, 2006, 0:41 GMT

    I'm getting carried away here (read my post in the other Rudiwatch!) but this is not good. There were others not mentioned here too. Mahmood's LBW to Warne (missing off stump), Flintoff's off-cutter LBW shout against Symmonds (as plumb as the two Hoggard ones), Harmison caught at slip off the glove (given not out when it was blatantly out).

    They were consistent alright - consistently inconsistent. The case for robot umpires is growing every day. Maybe we need to face the fact that with the scrutiny these guys are under a little help would be handy. Just an instantaneous little alarm in their ear when hawkeye indicates it is hitting/missing etc. It doesn't need to be perfect, just consistent. 95% correct would be fine with me.

  • Justin on December 30, 2006, 1:32 GMT

    Please. It's all good to criticize umpires decisions, but let's not act like Strauss could have magically fixed every problem England had on the tour (there have been many) - or that Australia haven't had their own share of dodgy calls. Australia still would have won, we'd just be focused more on the cricket, than some dink of an umpire.

  • DAVID L on December 30, 2006, 1:58 GMT

    swings and roundabouts. To Eric, Why is it about South Africans? Gideon didn't once mention nationality in his comment. Rudi as an umpire is open to criticism regardless of his background. Reminds me of how another person responds to criticism...Arjuna where are you when we need you.