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July 22, 2009
The dispute over Andrew Strauss's catch of Phillip Hughes at Lord's reached the top levels of Cricket Australia, with the chief executive James Sutherland calling the ICC for further information on the decision. Sutherland said he was not questioning the umpire's verdict but wanted to know why Strauss's take on the fourth day was not referred to the TV umpire when Nathan Hauritz's grab off Ravi Bopara was sent upstairs a day earlier.
Bopara was reprieved while Hughes was given out - both replays were inconclusive - and that decision left Australia at 34 for 2 in their failed pursuit of 522 for victory. "I did ring [the ICC operations manager] Dave Richardson to seek clarification on the referral situation, but in no way was it any kind of complaint," Sutherland told the Age. "I was seeking to understand the reason for the inconsistency and it was explained to my satisfaction."
Jeff Crowe, the match referee, explained the decision after the match, saying the difference between the judgments was Billy Doctrove believed the Strauss catch at first slip was out, while both men were unsure of the Hauritz appeal. Strauss said he was 100% certain he had held the ball - and had the bruises to prove it.
Ricky Ponting was batting with Hughes and was seen to tell Hughes to wait at the crease in the hope that the decision would go to the third umpire. Ponting was involved in a series of minor incidents during the game, including when he received a mistaken caught-behind decision in the first innings, and was jeered by the crowd on most days.
Sutherland said he had no problems with the behaviour of Ponting or his team. "I was extremely proud of how Ricky and all the players handled some tense situations," he said. "I thought he behaved in an entirely appropriate way."
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