October 4, 2008

The first flashpoint?

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting was an angry man as the third's day play winded to a halt in Hyderabad. The drama happened after the final ball. Michael Clarke had deflected Wasim Jaffer's drive to the stumps where Yuvraj Singh just about put his bat down. The appeal was referred to the third umpire and the players, perhaps not realising how close it was, kept walking towards the pavilion, with one eye on the light.

No signal came. So they all waited. Yuvraj smiled nervously. The TV kept showing replay after replay. It looked pretty close. No light came on though. Some technical glitch and the umpire Amiesh Sahiba got the news on his walkie-talkie. Not out was the verdict from upstairs. Yuvraj smiled and walked away but Ponting marched to the umpire to have an animated chat.

Later, match referee Manu Nayyar revealed Tim Nielsen, Australia's coach, and Steve Bernard, the manager, came to meet him and expressed their unhappiness over the verdict.

On the Australian captain's chat with the umpire, Nayyar said: "Ponting must have heard from his support staff and enquired with the umpire, who conveyed to him what the third umpire had told him."

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo