England v Pakistan, 2nd npower Test, Edgbaston, 2nd day August 7, 2010

Butt plays down dead-ball row

Cricinfo staff

Salman Butt played down the latest potential flashpoint between England and Pakistan as Kevin Pietersen apologised for his part in a controversial reprieve on the second afternoon at Edgbaston.

Pietersen, who top-scored with 80 but is still waiting for his first Test hundred since March 2009, was on 41 when he backed away as Mohammad Asif ran into bowl, indicating he wasn't ready to face the delivery. But, with Asif in delivery stride, the ball was let go and Pietersen, bizarrely, played a casual drive that lobbed gently into the air to Salman Butt at mid-off.

In an innings in which the tourists dropped six catches, Butt understandably appealed, but the South African umpire Marais Erasmus insisted he had already called dead ball and therefore Pietersen could not be given out.

"That's what I've been told by the umpire, that he called it before the actual shot was played so it becomes not out that way," Butt told reporters. "That's what the umpire told me. We had a point and we made it to him but that was the reply."

Pietersen, for his part, insisted he'd been distracted by his fellow batsman Jonathan Trott, who walked into his eyeline while backing up at the non-striker's end. "Trotty walked in from a widish mid-on position." Pietersen said. "He said he was swatting away flies or bees - there were a lot of them out there today - and he walked in at a brisk pace across the wicket.

"I thought he was going to walk straight across, so I pulled away. The umpire shouted dead ball, but the ball sort of followed me. Instinctively, I played at it - I probably shouldn't have, and I apologise if I caused any issues."

Law 23.3.b (v) states: "Either umpire shall call "dead ball" when he is satisfied that for an adequate reason the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and, if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it." Having played his shot, Pietersen conceded he was fortunate not to have been given out on a technicality.

"They obviously appealed. But it was a dead ball call before - and if the shoe was on the other foot we would have got on with the game," he said. "I think everybody moved on pretty quickly."

"I think all the luck was with KP today," said Butt, with a smile, after falling for 0 in Pakistan's second innings. "It's only a one-ball game for us batsmen, and if you get a good one there's not much we can do. If we are lucky it might pass without edging, sometimes it doesn't carry."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JIGNESH on August 10, 2010, 0:21 GMT

    Zaeem Khan, You are absolutely right that anything can happen in cricket test. But my friend under the captain-ship of struggling batsman, every body can predict the result of last test match. After the end of first test the captain of Pakistan said to the press that "Danish needs more time to get in the form", well, Mr. Captain, you also need a way more time to get in the form than any body else in the team. Actually, the captain should become the role-model to his team. If captain isn't play well, he shouldn't expectations of well playing to others. And one more thing, if Kevin would have given out at that moment, some other batsmen would have step-up and become like Kevin.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    KP is no Good to make a fuss about, Pakistan should play better.

    Well, Salman Butt did the right thing when umpire did the wrong.

  • Bob on August 9, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    The Pietersen dead ball incident only adds to the generally poor standard of umpiring in this test. The umpire was clearly wrong in his interpretation of Law 23(v) which states the umpire shall call and signal dead ball if he is satisfied that for an adequate reason the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and," if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it." The words within the inverted commas are the crucial ones in this instance. By playing the ball Pietersen negated the umpires call of dead ball.. This is confirmed by the notes accompanying Law 23 (v) in Tom Smith's excellent book New Cricket Umpiring and Scoring.. which in NOTE (V) on page 168 explains "If after having stepped back or signified that he is not ready to receive the delivery, the striker then attempts to play the ball, he negates his initial action and is deemed to have played the ball" Seems strightforward enough to me... Pietersen should have been given OUT !!

  • brenta on August 9, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    England reckon if the shoe was on the other foot they would have just got on with it just like when they block a man from running, knock him to the ground run him out out and send him on his way.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    @captain pedent.........so u think pakistan are goin 2 lose by a big margin??u were absolutely wrong!!!!!!!!! pakistan are playin wonderfully with a lead of 112 with one wicket left!!!! if dey can get dat lead up to 150 we have got a game on our hands!!! anything van happen in cricket!!!! u just cant predi t wat can happen!!! btw kevin was a really lucky man and if he would have been out den england would have fumbled and be all lut for 150 or 175!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    The issue is not that Peitersen was not given out, but it shows that, when Inzizmam-ul-haq have similar kind of incident, in those umpires minds, no matter what but he was wrong and he must be given out, and he was given out two times on similar kind of incidents by umpire's. it shows, that if Pakistani batsmen against any teams play this kind of stuff.its given out. thats bcoz he is pakistani, if its a player of any other team teamthen its not given out.its always against pakistani players.

  • The on August 8, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    This has happened heaps of times when I've umpired. The moment I've called "Dead..." that's it.

    It should be easy to prove from stump cam - if Marais really did yell out as everyone says, that will be obvious.

    Had he not called, Pietersen is probably out. But he did. Inzamam got one horrible decision from an ump that didn't know the Laws (or couldn't communicate with field umps) - different story. You were right then, and wrong now. It's not bias, just an idiotic decision.

    To the PAK fans asking "What if it had been a PAK batsman?" the nationality of the batsman is irrelevant. Or the fielding team - if AUS is fielding and there's a dead ball call, it's not out. With one exception - had an IND player been disadvantaged then it's still not out but then the umpire is replaced with Billy Bowden at BCCI's request for the next Test.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    @SC79: What's your point bud? This is a Test between England and Pakistan. The umpire is from South Africa, and hence is from a neutral country. I could be wrong, but I believe (at the very least) one of the two officiating on-field umpires must be neutral.

  • sandy on August 8, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    it was pietersen's ego that even when he pulled out, he played the shot..once he was looking below while batting,didnt see the bowler until he delivered the ball,still went to play the shot and the ball got the edge and run to third man boundary..what if he was out at the time??do you think he would accept that??the man has serious ego problem...

  • John on August 8, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    nrms is right. A lot of people posting here don't understand that when the umpire called dead ball BEFORE the ball reached Pietersen, anything after that didn't matter. There's no issue for the third umpire to decide on. Having said that, Pietersen was silly to have played the ball. He knew he couldn't score from it. I guess it was a reflex action, but he needs to think a bit more about what he's doing.

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