ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Group A, World Cup 2011, Mumbai

Taylor questions use of technology

Nagraj Gollapudi at the Wankhede Stadium

March 18, 2011

Comments: 72 | Text size: A | A

Nathan McCullum and Mahela Jayawardene exchanged words after the catch that wasn't, New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Group A, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, March 18, 2011
Nathan McCullum gave Mahela Jayawardene some lip for not taking his word that he held the catch cleanly © Getty Images

Ross Taylor, New Zealand's stand-in captain, has said that if technology cannot be conclusive it should just not be used. Taylor's remarks came in the wake of the controversial return catch of Mahela Jayawardene during the Sri Lanka innings, which was pouched spectacularly by Nathan McCullum who threw himself to his right to hold the catch inches above the ground. But the third umpire ruled the decision against New Zealand.

Jayawardene went for a premeditated push towards the leg side, but was surprised by a slower delivery from McCullum which arrived late. Having rushed into the shot, Jayawardene could only watch the ball loop towards the unmanned space at silly mid-on. But McCullum leaped from the spot where he had finished his follow-through as if he was standing on a diving board. Amazingly he managed to get the tips of the fingers of his outstretched right hand under the ball.

Viewed from the press box, which is behind the bowler's arm, the first reaction was that the catch was taken on the first bounce. But numerous close replays indicated McCullum had actually held one of the catches of the tournament. His reaction was nothing short of ecstatic: he picked himself up and stamped the ground with one foot and pirouetted delightedly. But Jayawardene had his doubts and asked Asad Rauf, one of the on-field umpires, to refer the decision to the TV umpire. Moments later, third umpire Amiesh Saheba gave Jayawardene the benefit of the doubt, much to the chagrin of McCullum. Along with his captain Ross Taylor, both men argued with the on-field umpire Rauf briefly before leaving with their heads shaking. Simon Doull, the former New Zealand fast bowler, was livid in the commentary box and was adamant about the authenticity of the catch.

It was a critical moment in the match when Sri Lanka were struggling at 87 for 2 after 23.1 overs with Jayawardene on 26. "I haven't seen the catch, I have seen it only live. I thought it was carried, but the third umpire obviously had other things," Taylor said after the match. "When you generally think that you have taken the catch, it's your natural instinct. It is disappointing."

Asked if he would prefer the batsman taking a fielder's words in such a situation, Taylor said he would not rule that out. "It depends upon the person. You look at Jacques Kallis; he asks the fielders if they caught it cleanly and he trusts the words of the fielders. You put it up to the batsman to make the decision and at the end of the day you just hope the technology is right and if the technology is not right, well then don't use it."

Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's captain and Jayawardene's batting partner at the time of the incident, differed. According to Sangakkara, his team-mate had the right to ask for a referral. "I was completely blocked from behind. Mahela was very honest and he said he was not sure he caught it cleanly," Sangakkara said. "Mahela is someone who walks when he nicks it and if he saw Nathan had taken a clean catch he wouldn't have come around. He wasn't very sure and the umpires weren't sure because they were unsighted, so they checked with the technology and they went in favour of Mahela."

Sangakkara pointed out that during the New Zealand innings, Brendon McCullum had also waited for the third umpire's ruling on a low catch held at slip by Jayawardene, though it is not certain whether that was simply done in retaliation. "That's the way the game is played," he said. "We had Brendon McCullum stand his ground when Mahela took that catch and they went upstairs and it was proved that it was a clean catch. So it can go either way."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 72 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 11:05 GMT)

well said kumar sangakkara.

Posted by Nilantha on (March 19, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

poor sportmanship from the Kiwis, technology has shown that the catch wasnt taken cleanly so stop moaning and get on with it..you cant moan about technology when the decisions go against you but then embrace it when it helps you...maybe ross talyor should just admit they were beaten by the better team instead of looking for excuses?

Posted by Keshavan on (March 19, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

As ICC did with Ashoka De Silva, Amiesh Saheba and Daryl Harper need to be replaced. Both have made some silly decisions that have changed the outcome of the game.

Posted by Harsh on (March 19, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

Sad that this great game has lost the spirit of true sportsmanship.Jayawardene was morally out and the batsman should have taken the fielder's word who pulled of a classic catch.Infact technology has not morally lifted the spirit of the game nor can always be accurate.The decison could have made a major impact on the course of the game.

It is good to know that generally Jayawardene and Kallis uphold the sportsman's spirit and dignity so much lost in modern day cricket .

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 7:45 GMT)

Its basic physics. As we saw the replays it was obvious that his fingers were at a much higher level of the ground with the ball and only thing that could have happened was the ball bouncing of the ground and stucking in his fingers.

@ Simon Doul: The side on replay showed it looked like a clean catch and the front on one looked like it bounced and rightly and without any bias the umpire gave the benefit of the doubt to the batsmen.

Posted by Piyum on (March 19, 2011, 7:27 GMT)

No one can blame on Mahela. He had the right to ask for a referral because it was a 50 -50 chance.Ross Taylor tried to criticize Mahela using silly examples. But the whole world knows about Mahela and his professionalism in cricket. He lead SL to win the "Spirit of Cricket " award two times. We saw how Ross Taylor and N McCullum behave after the third umpire's decision. Ross Taylor should learn from Vettori to be a responsible captain. We hope he will mind his words in future press conferences.

Posted by Dru on (March 19, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

Not sure about the suggestion of a batsman walking on the fielders word - fantacy I reckon. Sure a very few guys do it but you cant sledge and have ago at the batsman and then expect him to take your word on a doubtful catch and walk!! That's nonsense and whats more the next doubtful catch McCallum didn't walk!! I still dont understand how the batsman can be expected to walk when the thrid umpire has ruled not out - surely that means there is enough doubt. I am also not sure technology is being questioned - if not for technology it would have been not out as both onfield umpires referred it. Unfortunate for McCallum and NZ and but lets not make something out of nothing.

Posted by Atit on (March 19, 2011, 6:43 GMT)

Well I and most of the viewers would agree that the catch was clean, but its amazing how people change their opinion on technology, just 2 weeks ago Vetori had said that he had no issues with the system, now when a decision goes against you there are questions raised, in this match the TV umpire was Ameesh Saheeba from India, earlier in the tournament in the India england match Billy Bowden made a same error in judgement, so I think all is fair and square. What goes around comes around....

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

It was a clean catch.But it was idiotic to put the blame on Mahela for not walking.If he was unsighted he had the right to go upstairs.All in all it was 3rd umpire's fault,NOT Mahela's.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 19, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

As long as one condones batsmen not walking one cannot expect to take a fielder's word on a catch. It's hipocracy that you want umpire to rule even if you blatantly nicked a ball, but then ask to trust the same person's word when he is on the field claiming a catch.

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