England v Australia, 2nd npower Test, Lord's, 4th day July 19, 2009

Umpires frustrate Australia

64

The umpire referral system, due to be implemented in October, cannot come fast enough. After four days of controversy at Lord's, in which Rudi Koertzen and Billy Doctrove have lurched from one crisis to another, players and spectators were left to ponder just how "challenges" might have averted a series of situations that left two nations frustrated and a match disrupted.

The Ashes will be the penultimate Test series to be played under the old system, and more is the pity. Access to television replays would have gone far to sparing the blushes of the umpires and the ire of Australians after Simon Katich, Phillip Hughes and Michael Hussey were ruled out to decisions that ranged from dubious to incorrect on Sunday.

Katich's dismissal to an Andrew Flintoff no-ball might have been difficult for the batting team to detect and challenge, but the controversy surrounding Hughes' departure could have been avoided. Hughes' was ruled out to an Andrew Strauss catch in which fingers, ball and turf were in close proximity to one another. A challenge would have sent the adjudication process the way of the third umpire, who presumably would have found the replays to be inconclusive - as per the universal opinion of non-partisan commentators and scribes - and offered the benefit of the doubt to the batsman.

As it transpired, Koertzen and Doctrove stood accused of double standards, having declined to refer Hughes' dismissal to Nigel Llong, the third umpire, a day after sending Nathan Hauritz's claimed catch at mid-on upstairs. Replays of Hauritz's effort were similarly inconclusive, and Ravi Bopara was allowed to continue his innings.

Tim Nielsen, the Australian coach, refused to be dragged into an umpiring controversy, but admitted concern that Koertzen and Doctrove had not referred Strauss's catch to Llong. "I would have liked to see it go to the third umpire from a consistency point of view, there's no doubt about that," he said. "In the end, we've all seen the replays. People will make their decisions. At the moment the scorebook says that Phillip Hughes is sitting up with me. There's nothing much we can do about it now. Let's play on and look forward to tomorrow.

"We couldn't afford to get angry. We were in the middle of a game. We had to be conscious of the guy who was going in next. Once the decision was made, that batsman's impact on the game was finished. So we had to be aware of the environment we created for the next guy and the guys after him and the guy after him. You can't afford to be angry. You've just got to get on with it and make sure the next bloke has the chance to play as well as he can."

Graeme Swann, for his part, said England were not upset that Hughes, under orders from Ricky Ponting at the non-strikers' end, had stood his ground after Strauss claimed the catch. The incident prompted Koertzen to consult with Doctrove at square-leg for the third time in the match, the previous two of which have resulted in referrals to Llong.

"I think it's just accepted these days that the batsmen have a right to stand and ask if it carried," Swann said. "The umpire saw it and said it carried, and I was at third slip and thought it carried. As far as we were concerned, there was no problem with that catch. It went straight in. Fifty years ago, it would have been down to the word of the fielder, but these days, with all the technology, I don't think you can blame anyone for standing around."

Swann was himself party to a contentious decision when Doctrove ruled Hussey to have edged one of his deliveries to first slip. Replays showed that Hussey's bat had struck the ground, not the ball. Had the batsman the right of appeal, the ensuing controversy would almost certainly have been avoided.

"I was surprised," Swann said of the dismissal. "As far as I was concerned it pitched, it turned, there was a big nick and it went straight to slip. If it didn't nick his edge I feel sorry for Michael because he's a mate of mine and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But there were no qualms from anyone in the middle. As far as we were concerned it was a regulation nick to slip. These things sometimes happen."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nilhi on July 21, 2009, 14:27 GMT

    PS Rooboy, I love it. What is cricket again?? A game with a few sticks and a ball.

    Warnie for OBE

  • Nilhi on July 21, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    What a mixed bag of comments.

    Re Strauss' catch all you can ask for is consistency. If Strauss' catch was out then why wasn't Hauritz's.

    Common thread, no one like Ponting. Agreed. Who would take over? Clarke? Not yet.

    Keep up the banter.

  • scorpio84 on July 20, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    @Josephus I wrote a msg earlier.. not sure if its getting printed.. this is much toned down version - the prob is aussies talk of all - spirit of cricket, racism etc etc.. but in truth you guys (cricket team) dont have guts to take it back - ha ha ha.. i think you dont read your newspaper.. your media is making such a hullabo about these 3 wickets - btw everyone in this world knows who reacts like spoilt children...!!! I can say one thing for sure... the way ICC code of conduct gives punishment.. it is obvious who is treated how.

  • ViciousVish on July 20, 2009, 11:49 GMT

    It's never a matter of concern until calamity befalls you, isn't it? Now the Aussies know what the Indians might have gone through after the mockery of a test match at Sydney in 2008. No wonder they say cricket is such a leveler.

  • 801mlh on July 20, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    Come on Ricky, if Strauss says it carried it carried.Remember in Sydney against India when you played 'umpire' in the Ganguly dismissal.If memory serves me correct it was you who sent Ganguly on his way after Clarke told you he caught the ball.It was you who raised 'the dreaded finger'.That was the first time I ever saw an 'umpire' in a slip cordon.Now the shoe is on your foot it is hurting a little isn't it.Stop complaining and see how other captains usually feel when playing against you.

  • Josephus72 on July 20, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    @vs1984 - you have not grasped the point of my original post. I was reiterating that the Indian administrators, players and fans reacted like spoilt children in the face of the umpiring mistakes at Sydney in 2008. My point is that you will not see this from their Australian counterparts. It's not new of course, but when Sunny marched off with his stunned tailender all those years ago, that was Sunny being Sunny. Nowdays, Indians seem more aggrieved because they feel that it's their "turn" to top world cricket. This needs to be earned, and not just paid for.

    @dhaliwaljassi/@Avid.Cricket.Watcher - Well I agree with you too! I love the passion shown by cricket fans around the world (thank goodness the yanks never really get how great a game we have). But Avid, where was that passion when the Indians (brilliantly) blew the Aussies away at home in 2008? The stands were only half full at best when India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Is it all about the Bollyglam of T20 now?

  • 200ondebut on July 20, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    If the technology is there then they should use it - all of it - snicko, hotspot, hawkeye the lot. That way we won't have to listed to the droves of Aussies bellyaching about ever decision that has not gone their way.

  • Josephus72 on July 20, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    @oneders - yours is a perfect example and no doubt we can all remember matches that were unduly influenced by poor umpiring, but I was really referring to how cricketers, administrators and fans react in these instances. As for Ponting, I think his intentions are good (in accepting the fielder's word) but outdated and he needs to accept modern cricket (somewhat sadly) leaves little room for a "gentleman's code".

    @the_silent_observer - like many I acknowledge India's commercial influence and importance in world cricket. But I do not believe that this means the game should be held hostage by a petulant (albeit lucrative) child. That's not progress, that's a recipe for the degradation of a beautiful game. As for the English, they probably used to "take it on the chin" a little too politely, one of the reasons why I respect Michael Vaughan so much as he could blend pride and integrity so well.

  • bGopinathanB.E on July 20, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    As afar as i am concerned this issues related to players making an impacton catches was promoted to its best by ricky pointing. Hope every one remeber the catch that pointing claimed against the indians in australia. He tought himself to be the umpire for "Winning a match at any cost situation". the same table has turn around.... now he is getting screwed up.. hope australia loses this match and also the series because of this. so that this becomes a lesson for every australian player.

  • kym_c on July 20, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    I'm Australian and support Australia. The umpiring in the 2nd test has been inept HOWEVER Australia should be playing cricket of sufficient standard so that the quality of umpiring isn't a factor. Ricky.P is a sublime batsman but as a captain his decision making and strategy execution is hopeless. He cost us a likely win with his "never mind the quality feel the width" bowling tactic in the last few overs of the 1st Test. Mitchell.J is so bad on this tour as to be an embarrassment and he has, more than anyone else handed the 2nd Test to England. Phillip.H should be grateful to Mitchell.J otherwise the spotlight would be focussed on him and his non-contributions with the bat. There are only 5 tests with 3 remaining and the Ashes are at stake ... Mitchell.J and Phillip.H should be rested for the remaining 3 Tests and Ponting's captaincy performance needs to be addressed post-Ashes.

  • Nilhi on July 21, 2009, 14:27 GMT

    PS Rooboy, I love it. What is cricket again?? A game with a few sticks and a ball.

    Warnie for OBE

  • Nilhi on July 21, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    What a mixed bag of comments.

    Re Strauss' catch all you can ask for is consistency. If Strauss' catch was out then why wasn't Hauritz's.

    Common thread, no one like Ponting. Agreed. Who would take over? Clarke? Not yet.

    Keep up the banter.

  • scorpio84 on July 20, 2009, 14:57 GMT

    @Josephus I wrote a msg earlier.. not sure if its getting printed.. this is much toned down version - the prob is aussies talk of all - spirit of cricket, racism etc etc.. but in truth you guys (cricket team) dont have guts to take it back - ha ha ha.. i think you dont read your newspaper.. your media is making such a hullabo about these 3 wickets - btw everyone in this world knows who reacts like spoilt children...!!! I can say one thing for sure... the way ICC code of conduct gives punishment.. it is obvious who is treated how.

  • ViciousVish on July 20, 2009, 11:49 GMT

    It's never a matter of concern until calamity befalls you, isn't it? Now the Aussies know what the Indians might have gone through after the mockery of a test match at Sydney in 2008. No wonder they say cricket is such a leveler.

  • 801mlh on July 20, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    Come on Ricky, if Strauss says it carried it carried.Remember in Sydney against India when you played 'umpire' in the Ganguly dismissal.If memory serves me correct it was you who sent Ganguly on his way after Clarke told you he caught the ball.It was you who raised 'the dreaded finger'.That was the first time I ever saw an 'umpire' in a slip cordon.Now the shoe is on your foot it is hurting a little isn't it.Stop complaining and see how other captains usually feel when playing against you.

  • Josephus72 on July 20, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    @vs1984 - you have not grasped the point of my original post. I was reiterating that the Indian administrators, players and fans reacted like spoilt children in the face of the umpiring mistakes at Sydney in 2008. My point is that you will not see this from their Australian counterparts. It's not new of course, but when Sunny marched off with his stunned tailender all those years ago, that was Sunny being Sunny. Nowdays, Indians seem more aggrieved because they feel that it's their "turn" to top world cricket. This needs to be earned, and not just paid for.

    @dhaliwaljassi/@Avid.Cricket.Watcher - Well I agree with you too! I love the passion shown by cricket fans around the world (thank goodness the yanks never really get how great a game we have). But Avid, where was that passion when the Indians (brilliantly) blew the Aussies away at home in 2008? The stands were only half full at best when India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Is it all about the Bollyglam of T20 now?

  • 200ondebut on July 20, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    If the technology is there then they should use it - all of it - snicko, hotspot, hawkeye the lot. That way we won't have to listed to the droves of Aussies bellyaching about ever decision that has not gone their way.

  • Josephus72 on July 20, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    @oneders - yours is a perfect example and no doubt we can all remember matches that were unduly influenced by poor umpiring, but I was really referring to how cricketers, administrators and fans react in these instances. As for Ponting, I think his intentions are good (in accepting the fielder's word) but outdated and he needs to accept modern cricket (somewhat sadly) leaves little room for a "gentleman's code".

    @the_silent_observer - like many I acknowledge India's commercial influence and importance in world cricket. But I do not believe that this means the game should be held hostage by a petulant (albeit lucrative) child. That's not progress, that's a recipe for the degradation of a beautiful game. As for the English, they probably used to "take it on the chin" a little too politely, one of the reasons why I respect Michael Vaughan so much as he could blend pride and integrity so well.

  • bGopinathanB.E on July 20, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    As afar as i am concerned this issues related to players making an impacton catches was promoted to its best by ricky pointing. Hope every one remeber the catch that pointing claimed against the indians in australia. He tought himself to be the umpire for "Winning a match at any cost situation". the same table has turn around.... now he is getting screwed up.. hope australia loses this match and also the series because of this. so that this becomes a lesson for every australian player.

  • kym_c on July 20, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    I'm Australian and support Australia. The umpiring in the 2nd test has been inept HOWEVER Australia should be playing cricket of sufficient standard so that the quality of umpiring isn't a factor. Ricky.P is a sublime batsman but as a captain his decision making and strategy execution is hopeless. He cost us a likely win with his "never mind the quality feel the width" bowling tactic in the last few overs of the 1st Test. Mitchell.J is so bad on this tour as to be an embarrassment and he has, more than anyone else handed the 2nd Test to England. Phillip.H should be grateful to Mitchell.J otherwise the spotlight would be focussed on him and his non-contributions with the bat. There are only 5 tests with 3 remaining and the Ashes are at stake ... Mitchell.J and Phillip.H should be rested for the remaining 3 Tests and Ponting's captaincy performance needs to be addressed post-Ashes.

  • icefresh on July 20, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    What a laughable article title plus some equally silly comments. How many matches have you guys seen where errors by umpires/referees have been non-existent? Those of you who have been privileged to witness such fantasy events should be thankful as they are indeed rare. Yes Katich's "no-ball" and Hussey's "air shot catch" decisions were tough breaks but hardly unique. The Aussies (as other teams) have benefited on numerous occasions from umpiring mistakes but I can't recall any of their players imploring an umpire to reverse an erroneous decision or recalling the batsman in such a situation.

    There was no inconsistency in the Hughes case. He was given out by the bowler's end umpire and the former subsequently challenged the decision. In such a situation, the umpire who made the initial decision can either consult his on-field colleague or the 3rd umpire. Once the decision can be confirmed out in the centre there is no requirement to get the TV replay official involved.

  • mrx2 on July 20, 2009, 10:50 GMT

    i guess u guysonly take notice when australia get bad decisions. how many yrs now West Indies, Sri Lanka and the likes get wrong to downright deploravle decisions. and i cant remember u guys "cryin" for us. tell the ozzies grow up,its been happening to the rest so put up ans SHUT UP

  • CliffM on July 20, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    When the referral system comes in the non-striker will have to watch the bowler's front foot. If he feels a no-ball has been missed, and the striker has been given out, he would then instruct his partner to challenge the dismissal.

  • andersond2n on July 20, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    Australia did Sth Africa over on their home soil after they had an abberrative tour to Australia. Koertzen is a Sth African. Draw your own conclusions.

  • dfowen on July 20, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    Firstly as an England fan, I would like to say well done to Michael Clark by reacting in the best possible way to some unlucky decisions. The first decision the no-ball. I defy anyone to spot these for quick bowlers. There was no umpire mistake just impossible to look down and up quick enough to see foot on line and key points for LBW decisions on 90+ mph deliveries. The second decision, my gut reaction was that it was caught and I saw no evidence of bounce, upward movement, prior to the ball being held even on slo-mo. Remember foreshortening means that 9 times out of 10 times the camera makes it look like it hit the ground (Botham I think did some experiments a few years ago on tv to show the effects of the cameras, so referral makes all close catches unclear so waste of time). Finally the third decision, it looked like a clear edge. Only on super slo-mo did it show the problem. Amazing technology & rough luck for Hussey. So I don't see how we are complaining about poor umpiring.

  • Shiw on July 20, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    Come on! Don't be that harsh on the umpires man. They are human after all and by erring they are showing the basic quality of them being what they are. Well, Rudi is standing on his 100th Test and who doesn't have nerves on such a moment? He hasn't got out of the ambrosia of the occasion and hence doesn't deserve to be criticized for some decisions. Come on, every body stumbles on one's such glorious career. As far as Billy is concerned, he is a typical human and his decisions are always typical. Don't know where his mind ravels when he is at crease is mystery for him as well so all in all we are more than entertained with his decisions. All I can say is both are gems of the elite of the umpiring panel and are doing such a great jobs that they do deserve a tail at their back for their decision and fully deserve to be transferred to zoo rather than officiating the match.

  • Mike_C on July 20, 2009, 9:20 GMT

    To be fair, Bopara got a rough one in Cardiff, so it's not all one way...

    I can't help thinking, that Umpire standards (certainly in tests in England) have gone down since Umpires became neutral. Previously The Dickie Birds of this world could drive down to the game for 5 days (with a rest day too) then go home afterwards. Now, umpires have to fly around the world, and be away from home for weeks at a time, in unfamiliar playing conditions (light, pitch etc), perhaps it's not surprising they make more mistakes as a result?

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on July 20, 2009, 9:18 GMT

    As I wrote before, I sympathize with Aussie fans. It really hurts when umpiring mistakes make a steep climb even steeper. And I hate to read / participate in nationalistic discussions with fellow cricket fans. But I'll make a small exception here in response to comments about "a certain country...effigy-burning...hysterical reactions in such situations." Well, yes, many Indian fans do go overboard and burn effigies at times to protest perceived injustices against their team (most Indian fans don't...and wish others wouldn't either). But it is that very PASSION for the game why Sir Don Bradman used to get the majority of his fanmail from India in the '90s...why visiting cricketers are treated like Hollywood stars by fans and the media (mind you, not during the game!)...why Symonds, Flintoff, Gilchrist and others are getting million $ paychecks in the IPL...why Warne and Waugh still love coming to India. So there are some pleasant aspects to passionate fans too, folks.

  • 67305 on July 20, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    It really amazes me how the poms can remain silent after 3 Australians wrongly given out,yet if it had been against THEM there would have been a thousand posts of screaming "WE WAS ROBBED"....Dont forget you poms won the 2005 ashes through just one wrong decision given against Australia.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on July 20, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    I've noticed a few trends regarding umpiring errors in my 16 years as a fan: 1) Almost always, even these days with neutral umpires, the home side (be it Aus, Eng, India, etc.) tends to enjoy the rub of the green. I believe it has do with the psychological pressure - subconsciously - felt by umpires from the home crowd (and not due to an overt bias or lack of ethics). 2) Very often, the team that is well ahead in the game (as Eng have been, or as Aus were in Sydney '08) gets more judgment calls in their favour. Again, I believe this may be a subconscious psychological bias (i.e. "These boys are gonna win anyway!"). 3) Finally, the winning side and their fans only remember (and argue) that they dominated the match and got a deserving win; the losing side and fans only remember, often with bitterness, that the result would have been different (at least a draw) but for the umpiring errors.

    So I don't grudge England, and I sympathize with the Aussies. But what a cracking game!

  • dhaliwaljassi on July 20, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    i m fully agree with what josephus72 is saying.............it is just cricket..it is not that to which team such incident happens but the more important thing is how the team reacts.... so i request to all the(double standard) indian team fans and the team itself to learn something from the australian team.....and i want to know that why this time not even a single person who speaks anti oz had written anything.. are they just able to criticise them because they r champions..why these people are not able to write the truth this time...i would like to see the comments after the match(hopefully record breaking win for oz) from those people........

  • Sudzz on July 20, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    Dear ICC, Technology is available, easy to use and can infact be used to enhance the umpires credibility rather than have a third person from outside the ground officiate.

    There are handheld devices that are wireless and can be carried in coat pockets that can be used by the ump's to review close decisions and look at nicks etc.

    Empower the on field guy with such equipments rather than have a person in a box 100 yards away from the action take calls and don't further demean the umpire by having batters and bowlers challenge their decisions...

  • Sorcerer on July 20, 2009, 7:23 GMT

    Well, you need to take the rough with the smooth. Australia were again something like 130/5 chasing 369 that time in Hobart against Pak about a decade ago when Langer belted the leather off the ball and got caught behind, but the Aussie umpire thought otherwise...heads dropped from then on in the field and Australia romped home to victory. This time they were 130/5 due to a few bad decisions too and are smarting over the fact, but then the blatant "mistake" of their own umpire in Hobart was brushed away at the time by the same Aussie fans...

    So "get on with the game" mate....these things are part and parcel of the game.

  • vs1984 on July 20, 2009, 7:22 GMT

    Dear Josephus72

    There was no nick in Lords 2009 that was heard all the way from Sydney to Mumbai. Further, no batsman stood his ground when even Boycott's grandmum could tell that there was an edge to slip. What irked Indians (and the entire cricketing world... remember even past Australians greats were concerned at the 'win at all cost' attitude) was that a great cricketing nation like Australia with a rich legacy of playing tough but playing fair was ok with anything and everything as long as they ended up as the winning team. I do not think there is even the slightest comparison between this Test and the one you are referring to.

  • Samdanh on July 20, 2009, 7:10 GMT

    In 2005 Ashes England won by a narrow 2-1 margin despite Australia suffering umpteen dubious decisions right through the series. It has started right earnest this time too in 2009. It is understandable if there is one or two decisions going wrong for both teams in a match. But 3 going awfully wrong in one innings against one team is gross injustice. It will be unfair if England were to win today, even by 100+ margin. 3 top order batsmen have been incorrectly sent "out" It is rank bad umpiring that needs to be reprimanded. Why dock players when they question umpire's decision and let off umpires when 3 of their decisions (too many like this occasion) goes wrong in one single innings against one team? England should only thank umpires first if they win this Test. It will be a shame if they celebrate

  • IKKI on July 20, 2009, 7:10 GMT

    I cannot wait for the referral system to kick in. The second test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka showed so much inconsistencies from the umpires as far as LBW decisions were concerned. Naturally the test became lop-sided when in the match TEN LBW decisons went agaist Pakistan compared to just TWO against Sri-Lanka, another case proving leniency to the host nation by ruling umpires which marred the game and made Pakistan look like palukas

  • RiyazRahman on July 20, 2009, 7:02 GMT

    Katich wicket off a no-ball has no relevance to the refferal system. It is pure incompetence of the umpires. Both Doctrove and Koertzen are incompetent to be on the elite panel, not only because of this match but also because of their poor decisions in the past. Specially Koertzen who has given some appaulling decisions at vital moments of a match. Sangakkara given out in Aussie chasing a big target and being on course of acheiving it.

  • pirki on July 20, 2009, 6:43 GMT

    i think its fine with australia. i remember i they defeated pakistan with help of umpires in the hobart test when langer thick edged akram to moin and not out given by the aussie umpire and aussies went on to win that test match. i can not forget that test there have been many other occaisions where australians won the test match with help of umpires particularly against the teams from subcontinent. they should feel the pain now.....

  • the_silent_observer on July 20, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    @ Josephus72: looks like that all of you are quite obsessed with India, irrespective of what happens elsewhere and to whom. Time to get out out of that mindset, if you want to progress ?! and as for your comment about "handling frustrations in a civilized manner", maybe you would want an endorsement from the English on that, if you can manage !!

  • wadikar on July 20, 2009, 6:24 GMT

    Looking at number of decisions going against Australia and very consistently too, one gets a feeling that there is almost some cospiracy against them. Other wise why the double standards of sending up stairs hauritz's catch and short circuiting in case of Strauss's case? It in fact would have been more befitting if Strauss himself would have shown gamesmanship by voluntaring third umpire referal. Surely he could not have been hundred per cernt sure of the catch, if not down right convinced that it was not taken cleanly.

  • backsoon on July 20, 2009, 6:08 GMT

    bring on more technology, test match cricket isn't a fast free flowing game, when umpires use referrals to the third umpire to verify questionable boundaries nearly every time, why wouldn't they use it when deciding on wether a batsman is out or not out , 1 or 2 run is nothing compared to a wicket in test matches, considering australia should be only 2/315 , i will be watching tonight expecting them to win,

  • maleemawan on July 20, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    I wonder what the match situation could have been if three out of top four Australian batsmen were not given out by umpiring mistakes. Talking about the consistency in umpiring decisions; the only consistency I see so for in this series is that Aussies are at the receiving end of it except for Bopara's lbw decision in 2nd inning of Cardiff. I wonder why they do not let Simon Taufel officiate in these mataches. Yes Simon Taufel is an Aussie but he has been voted the best umpire for past 4/5 years; let the best guys (Simon Taufel,Aleem Dar, Billy ) do the job in the best of the series.

  • Crystalclear on July 20, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    There is no reason for anyone to get frustrate i believe. And pointing out the umpires referral system is pointless at the moment as human eye is umpiring cricket since start of cricket and many decisions have been made by mistake. An the referral system will become available as decided i suppose so one must show some sportsman spirit and accept what ever happens till then.

  • SPJADHAV on July 20, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    Its not happened first time in history of cricket dat umpires have given wrong decisions, but when it happens with Aussies the hole world get up and do issue about it. Aussies are cry babies. it happens against them dats why they are blaming it now.if the same thing happens to other teams against them they will happily accpet it and surely enjoyed the win.

  • Prajith80 on July 20, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    I am big fan of Australia and now I feel that was because of some legendary players like Mc Grath, Warne, Gilly and Haydo on the side. This situation of umpries errors, ponting has to be blamed for his silly and greedy appealing in the past. Now when he is on field, no one trust even when he is correct. Mr.Ponting can you learn from your mistakes and carry the cup in you hand and not to the head. Because of you the worlds best nation is getting hit in game and name which was built by legends in past like Sir Bradman, Broder, Steve, Gilly etc.

  • royallen on July 20, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    I can't believe so many people take the TV evidence on low catches as proof when it is nothing of the kind. It has been shown over and over again that TV does not show these catches accurately. So think about that before you launch into accusations of bias, cheating or gamesmanship. The camera lies in this situation. If that's the only evidence you have, you have no evidence.

  • petersp on July 20, 2009, 5:18 GMT

    It's true that the third umpire can't change a decision after it has been made unless certain of an error, but the on-field decision against Hughes should never have been made. It should have been referred to the 3rd umpire just as Hauritzes uncertain catch off Bopara was the previous day. It was exactly the same situation, so why such a different response?? THATS the problem - inconsistency. This isn't just about Australia either. India, England and all the other test playing sides have been similarly disadvantaged in the past. And to argue that incorrect decisions are just part of the game is just dumb - if that's the case the umpires should just toss a coin every time a decision has to be made. It would be less stressful for them not to be accountable. Yes Australia dug itself into a hole, but Clarke and Haddin have shown that they could've climbed out of that hole if the umpires hadn't made the hole 10 metres deeper!! It's a shameful mess.

  • BrianCad on July 20, 2009, 5:03 GMT

    royallen on (July 20 2009, 01:56 AM GMT) must be the only cricket fan fearing the introduction of technology. If it helps us find "the truth", let's use it. The luck that goes with manual decisions is more colourful than fair. To capture a picture of the moment, we no longer rush for brushes and easel, do we?

  • Dk_Pk on July 20, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Look, India always blame the umpires if they lose a match. Everyone, the coach the captain start blabbering away. Look at Australia. Look at Tim Nielsen. Look a their captain Ricky Ponting. They're as silent as mice. Everybody makes mistakes. India need to accept that. They need to get rid of their jealousy. India is a team of class. They Tendulkar, they had Gavaskar, and Kapil Dev. What more do they want? India, I hope you accept this. Please do.

  • itay128 on July 20, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    Rudi's 100th test as a umpire is certainly one he will want to forget, but it doesn't matter since Australia are still in with a chance of winning this game (just like South Africa did when they played Australia in Perth last year).

  • oneders on July 20, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    @ Josephus72- I am an Indian cricket fan, and this has happened to Australia before against India at chennai 97 when on the final day before lunch, all 4 Aussie wickets were questionable decisions. These things happen, and I do not blame Aussies for the umpiring errors in Sydney. Australia was the team I supported after India, until one Mr.Ponting became captain. Its high time Ponting drops his double standards. He keeps talking about the spirit of cricket but does not have an ounce of it. Its ok for him to claim a grassed catch, but not for others?? Everybody should take his word for a claimed catch but he would not take any other's words???And on top of all this he is calling somebody else a hypocrite!!!! Who is the hypocrite here Mr.Ponting???

  • rahulsaxena on July 20, 2009, 4:13 GMT

    First it were the Indians at Sydney. Now it is the Aussies at Lords. What goes around, come around.

  • CRICKETTHINKER on July 20, 2009, 4:12 GMT

    Remember the Sydney Test where India had to suffer 9 wrong decisions by the umpires? Remember Michael Clarke claiming a catch off Ganguly which he had not taken cleanly? At that time, the Australian team and the media had said it is all part of the game and accused India of complaining because it lost the Test match. Remember all this? Even in that Test match, the replays had shown that all those 9 decisions given against India were wrong? Now it hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, isn't it? Why doesn't Australia now say that it is part of the game? Why are they complaining?

  • zilladude on July 20, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    Well ... I can't help, but laugh at Australia's plight. You reap what you sow ..what goes around comes around !! Remember SYDNEY ....... India .... Anil Kumble?? :-)

  • ArjunVS on July 20, 2009, 4:04 GMT

    That just was not cricket, and from senior umpires - the standards were atrocious. In my opinion the victory (if there is one) will be hollow and remembered not for the gap since 1934, but for these controversies.

    That being said, the Aussies have the boot on the other foot, and perhaps know what india felt like at Sydney in the now famous "Monkey" test. From the lifelines that got extended to Australia to the huge errors with Dravid and Ganguly.............I believe what went around has finally come around.

    But, let us assume that it were India in this situation - loosing a test and with these monumental errors being made - by god, we would have brought the house down !!

  • rv999 on July 20, 2009, 4:01 GMT

    I think the concept that variability in umpiring is part of the game is nonsense. The goal is to improve the standard of umpiring such that incorrect decisions are reduced substantially.

    Perhaps we should eliminate neutral umpires and reprise Shakoor Rana/Gatting? Biased home umpires must also be part of the game, no?

    Sure, even with technology there will be ambiguity but the goal is to reduce human error in umpiring. Umpires don't "play" the game. They are there to let the players play the game.

  • Josephus72 on July 20, 2009, 3:59 GMT

    Dear BCCI, A. Kumble and Indian fans,

    Now you can see that it DOES happen to Australian teams as well, it's not just you and your team. SCG 2008 and Lord's 2009 will both be forever tainted by a lopsided umpiring performance and that's just how it goes until referrals come into play.

    BUT! The big difference is the way in which the disadvantaged teams in each case react. You can be assured that there will no calling for the heads of Messers Doctrove and Koertzen, no misguided paraphrasing of of cricketing captains past and certainly no bloody burning effigies in the streets of Hobart and Adelaide. Regardless of whether Australia do lose this test (as it still quite likely), watch and see how such frustrations are dealt with in a civilised manner.

  • the_cooz on July 20, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    Echoing Ashley Giles's words (2005 Ashes series), win or lose, Australia relish creating a bit of an arse-nipper. I really hope the other 3 Tests have the same intensity as this one, because this series is really getting good. As far as the referral system goes, for catches like Strauss's and Hauritz's, the batsman should get the benefit of the doubt all the way, even if the umpires originally think he was out because otherwise there would be no need for the referral system. I also think that the umpires should be able to look at the slow-mo replay shown on the big screen to decide whether or not they need to refer the decision. That way, any mistakes in judgement can be avoided. Again though, who'd want to be an umpire?

  • CricFan24 on July 20, 2009, 3:33 GMT

    @lazytrini. selective and filtererd memory on your part.sure,lara got hard done a few times "away"...but then so did others such as Tendulkar. but at home lara had numerous decisions go his way ,that too in his very best innings ,the '98 ones , with several pretty plumb looking LBWs etc going his way..he may well have been given LBW for 0 during his 400 and no one would have argued much......so i guess, it kinda balances out .

  • CowboySpin on July 20, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    @L4zybugg3r - you're quite right, I'm pretty sure Alex Brown is wrong about the Hughes decision. In a situation where the batsman has been given out and a challenge is made, the third umpire can only make a not out decision when there is conclusive evidence that the umpire is wrong (i.e. the benefit of the doubt is with the on-field umpire, not the batsman).

    (Unless things have changed since the trial series between NZ and the Windies).

    So, in fact, the referral system would probably only have corrected the Hussey decision, since it would have been very hard for the Australians to pick up on the Flintoff no-ball against Katich. I don't think the huge time wastage involved in the challenge system is worth this minor improvement. The challenge system needs to be improved to be faster and have more sensible reliance on technology s/a Hawkeye rather than endless third umpire replays before it should be implemented.

  • popcorn on July 20, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    I wish Ricky Ponting had confronted Rudi Koertzen for wrongly giving him out, even if he would have been fined 100% of his match fee. He would have been a martyr to the cause of fairness. ALL Cricketers would have praised him, and Rudi Koertzen, and ICC would have looked stupid. Are professional cricketers expected to be mute schoolchildren accepting the failures of umpiring? Rudi Koertzen has learnt NOTHING in his 100 Tests of umpiring. If he wanted to refer his doubt, he should have referred to the third umpire whether the bat hit the ball. Also, standing 22 yards away, how in divine light could he have seen a feathertouch of Philip Hughes' glove touching the ball and given him out? Rudi Koertzen, Billy Doctove and other so-called elite umpires (except Simon Taufel) have done great harm to the careers and fortunes of Cricketing Sides. It is time they were hauled up in public to atone for their sins. Remember how India got Steve Bucknor sacked? When will this farce end?

  • RaghuramanR on July 20, 2009, 2:50 GMT

    I had mentioned this earlier as well that Australians, for all that flak, seem to go by umpire's decision and dont make much of a fuss about it, so much as to stop the day's play or the match. I am sure that media either doesnt make it to a World War III. Umpire made a poor decision, thats part of the game. Get on with it. As cricket administrators, they have to thank Australian team or rather Ponting that they didnt raise it to the level of diplomatic row, Ashes being significant to either countries.

  • ak973 on July 20, 2009, 2:41 GMT

    I feel for Australia .. losing 2-3 wkts becos of umpiring decisions. But it is gud that Clarke and Haddin are still in. In case they go on to win it for Australia it will be the best rear guard action ever. Lets hope Koertzen and Doctrove get it right now .. fingers crossed

  • royallen on July 20, 2009, 1:56 GMT

    I am certainly not looking forward to the introduction of referrals in Test cricket. They mark the end of the umpires' authority on the field. Players will be able to routinely and officially question umpires decisions - how can that be good for cricket? Unlucky decisions are as much a part of cricket as the variations in cloud cover or the pitch and they should be treated as such. We should do everything we can to help umpires get it right on the pitch, but allowing players to challenge decisions will change the game fundamentally for the worse. As for the Strauss catch, it has been conclusively proven on several occasions that replays do not reveal the truth on low catches. Yet we still read articles like the one above based on those same, unreliable replays. There is no point in referring these catches as the replays are deceptive. Both Bopara and Hughes were out, and the umpires on the field got it right in Hughes case and wrong in Bopara's.

  • Nilhi on July 20, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    "Andrew Strauss catch in which fingers, ball and turf were in close proximity to one another". Nice selective vision there Alex. Call it what it was. Not a catch and admit it.

    "Replays of Hauritz's effort were similarly inconclusive" I am sure we are seeing the same vision everywhere and Hauritz's catch actually looked like a catch even in the replays but given the slightest doubt in the 3rd umpires mind Bopara was given not. All we can hope is that all players are afforded the same.

    I am wandering if Strauss had a look at vision of his "catch" after play and said, "Well I called that wrong. I can now see the ball was, with no doubt in contact with the ground".

  • nirmalj on July 20, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    It is ridiculous how even a deputy editor of Cricinfo does not understand the rules regarding the review process. Under the review process, the third umpire can change the decision only if he is certain that the umpires made the wrong call. Regarding Hughes decision, he was initially given out. So, the third umpire can not adjudge him not out unless he has conclusive evidence that Strauss dropped the catch. Since, the replays were inconclusive, the decision would have stood and it would not have affected the outcome. Of course, things were different with Hussey. It is a shame that the ICC has not come out and explained these rules clearly to everyone. They have to do it at some stage to avoid a lot of bad blood!

  • muditb on July 20, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    I think australia are tasting things what they offered india in sydney test when india was touring australia.Now they must take it in stride because the mistakes only make the game more competitive. However with referral system just round the corner its good news for players but it can be harsh on umpires with experience of lots of test matches, ODIs, T-20's.

  • lazytrini on July 20, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    whatever...the number of dodgy dismissals I saw Brian Lara get versus Australia...what goes around comes around I guess, and they're professionals, deal with it and move on

  • L4zybugg3r on July 20, 2009, 1:01 GMT

    Based on what I have seen with the trial referral system the Hughes would have probably still been given out if it was referred as it was inconclusive and so the 3rd umpire has no real evidence to disagree with the centre umpires' initial ruling. I'm pretty sure that they have to find contradictory evidence to change the decision, not that I agree with how this is done.

  • Obese22 on July 20, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    Will be very disappointed if Billy doesn't get an OBE after this display. Go Aussies!!!

  • T20_Kings on July 20, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    Australia was unlucky with the decisions today. It is all part of the game and should not be looked into as much. I'm quite excited for the referral system as it would allow fairer decisions and get the crowd more involved as we have seen in Tennis. Pups and Hadd have done a fantastic job so far and hopefully we can have an Edgbaston like finisher.

  • mithoauau on July 20, 2009, 0:09 GMT

    Credit goes to umpires who gave some relife to Pomis other wise i bet apart of Freddie no other bowler knows how to swing the ball. I could see Aussiee's swinging the ball but not Anderson and Broad, Onions did a little swing but he was out of clue where to pitch the ball. So well done Gibson (ECB bowling coach) you have got the Troy Colley's contract and enjoy the new equipments as new camer's shwoing from the Pomies dressing room that you work very hard on bowlers. Mate your bowlers are showing how effective you are no need to show us on TV with your new digital camera's ....poor bowling is letting the Aussiee's get away a difficult win as a easy win

  • Rooboy on July 19, 2009, 23:52 GMT

    Maybe Australia should demand the umpires be changed (not that it would help...), threaten to fly home unless they start getting favourable decisions, and have the public burn effigies and wail hysterically. Seems to work for one other international team ...

  • CharonTFm on July 19, 2009, 23:15 GMT

    Umpiring has become ever so harder because of the technology we have. In the old days, umpires had the final say because there was no replays, hotspots or snicko's to show whether or not their decisions were bad. Players might have felt dissapointed but at the end of the day they moved on. However now that technology has come into play, the flaws of the umpire becomes pronounced as every media outlet replays the catch that was grounded, the catch that was never nicked or the no ball that made the player go out.

    It is high time that the ICC should increase their pool of umpires so that umpires do not feel the stress of international travel. But importantly they should utilise the third umpire more, if the third umpire sees doubt in the decision he should relay that message to the onfield umpire. The referral system is working in Tennis, no reason why it can't work in Cricket. In stead of players referring, onfield umpires should be taught to refer more often in dubious decisions.

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  • CharonTFm on July 19, 2009, 23:15 GMT

    Umpiring has become ever so harder because of the technology we have. In the old days, umpires had the final say because there was no replays, hotspots or snicko's to show whether or not their decisions were bad. Players might have felt dissapointed but at the end of the day they moved on. However now that technology has come into play, the flaws of the umpire becomes pronounced as every media outlet replays the catch that was grounded, the catch that was never nicked or the no ball that made the player go out.

    It is high time that the ICC should increase their pool of umpires so that umpires do not feel the stress of international travel. But importantly they should utilise the third umpire more, if the third umpire sees doubt in the decision he should relay that message to the onfield umpire. The referral system is working in Tennis, no reason why it can't work in Cricket. In stead of players referring, onfield umpires should be taught to refer more often in dubious decisions.

  • Rooboy on July 19, 2009, 23:52 GMT

    Maybe Australia should demand the umpires be changed (not that it would help...), threaten to fly home unless they start getting favourable decisions, and have the public burn effigies and wail hysterically. Seems to work for one other international team ...

  • mithoauau on July 20, 2009, 0:09 GMT

    Credit goes to umpires who gave some relife to Pomis other wise i bet apart of Freddie no other bowler knows how to swing the ball. I could see Aussiee's swinging the ball but not Anderson and Broad, Onions did a little swing but he was out of clue where to pitch the ball. So well done Gibson (ECB bowling coach) you have got the Troy Colley's contract and enjoy the new equipments as new camer's shwoing from the Pomies dressing room that you work very hard on bowlers. Mate your bowlers are showing how effective you are no need to show us on TV with your new digital camera's ....poor bowling is letting the Aussiee's get away a difficult win as a easy win

  • T20_Kings on July 20, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    Australia was unlucky with the decisions today. It is all part of the game and should not be looked into as much. I'm quite excited for the referral system as it would allow fairer decisions and get the crowd more involved as we have seen in Tennis. Pups and Hadd have done a fantastic job so far and hopefully we can have an Edgbaston like finisher.

  • Obese22 on July 20, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    Will be very disappointed if Billy doesn't get an OBE after this display. Go Aussies!!!

  • L4zybugg3r on July 20, 2009, 1:01 GMT

    Based on what I have seen with the trial referral system the Hughes would have probably still been given out if it was referred as it was inconclusive and so the 3rd umpire has no real evidence to disagree with the centre umpires' initial ruling. I'm pretty sure that they have to find contradictory evidence to change the decision, not that I agree with how this is done.

  • lazytrini on July 20, 2009, 1:26 GMT

    whatever...the number of dodgy dismissals I saw Brian Lara get versus Australia...what goes around comes around I guess, and they're professionals, deal with it and move on

  • muditb on July 20, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    I think australia are tasting things what they offered india in sydney test when india was touring australia.Now they must take it in stride because the mistakes only make the game more competitive. However with referral system just round the corner its good news for players but it can be harsh on umpires with experience of lots of test matches, ODIs, T-20's.

  • nirmalj on July 20, 2009, 1:33 GMT

    It is ridiculous how even a deputy editor of Cricinfo does not understand the rules regarding the review process. Under the review process, the third umpire can change the decision only if he is certain that the umpires made the wrong call. Regarding Hughes decision, he was initially given out. So, the third umpire can not adjudge him not out unless he has conclusive evidence that Strauss dropped the catch. Since, the replays were inconclusive, the decision would have stood and it would not have affected the outcome. Of course, things were different with Hussey. It is a shame that the ICC has not come out and explained these rules clearly to everyone. They have to do it at some stage to avoid a lot of bad blood!

  • Nilhi on July 20, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    "Andrew Strauss catch in which fingers, ball and turf were in close proximity to one another". Nice selective vision there Alex. Call it what it was. Not a catch and admit it.

    "Replays of Hauritz's effort were similarly inconclusive" I am sure we are seeing the same vision everywhere and Hauritz's catch actually looked like a catch even in the replays but given the slightest doubt in the 3rd umpires mind Bopara was given not. All we can hope is that all players are afforded the same.

    I am wandering if Strauss had a look at vision of his "catch" after play and said, "Well I called that wrong. I can now see the ball was, with no doubt in contact with the ground".