New Zealand v Australia, 3rd ODI, Hamilton February 8, 2016

Marsh decision 'handled pretty poorly' - Smith

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WATCH - Freakish wicket enrages Marsh

Australia's captain Steven Smith has levelled heavy criticism about how Mitchell Marsh came to be given out at a pivotal moment of the deciding Chappell-Hadlee Trophy match in Hamilton. His opposite number Brendon McCullum, however, disputed the view that there had been no appeal to force an umpires' referral.

Marsh's squeezed stroke off the bat and boot rebounded to the bowler, Matt Henry, who claimed the catch and raised his hand while turning towards the umpire Ian Gould. After some delay, during which time the big screen at Seddon Park showed a replay that indicated Marsh was likely to be out, Gould and the other on-field umpire, Derek Walker, agreed to refer the decision.

Smith, the acting coach, Michael Di Venuto, and the team manager, Gavin Dovey, confronted the match referee Chris Broad after the match, and were told that neither umpire had heard an appeal initially. After that discussion, Smith contended that the episode had been handled "pretty poorly", even though he admitted the right decision was made.

"I don't think decisions should be made on the big screen, I don't think that's right for the game. I think better processes need to be put in place," Smith said. "We've got a review system in place. You have 15 seconds to make your decision and I don't think that was necessary for that to come up in that point in time.

"Neither of the umpires heard an appeal so the game went on. Well it was supposed to go on. It was shown on the big screen that there was a half-appeal so they went upstairs. I was pretty disappointed with the whole process .. it was handled pretty poorly. New Zealand players genuinely believed it wasn't out and, not until they saw it on the screen, did they change their mind.

"The right decision was made - he was out, there's no doubt about that. But if I get hit on the pad next time and it's missing leg, do I stand there and wait until it shows that up on the big screen?"

For his part, McCullum disagreed that there had been no appeal, but admitted to expressing a further opinion to the umpires that the right decision needed to be made despite the circumstances.

"I saw a couple of the guys appeal," McCullum said. "The right decision was made but the process was far from ideal. It's disappointing from the Australian point of view. When it did come up on the screen, which is not ideal, I yelled out 'what the ... is going on'. The only thing I said was the right decision has to be made."

It is not the first time Australia and New Zealand have been embroiled in a television umpiring controversy. During the Adelaide Test, Nathan Lyon was given not out after a lengthy review in which the third umpire Nigel Llong misinterpreted the evidence in front of him. The decision turned out to be pivotal to the outcome of the match, and New Zealand sought clarification from the ICC in its aftermath.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rnsmith on February 15, 2016, 3:35 GMT

    Reviewing video footage reveals considerable variation from what is supposed to happen. NZ appeals. What was Ian Gould's decision? His laconic style makes it hard to tell. NZ couldn't review his decision if he didn't make one, in which case the 15-second clock couldn't start. Or did he decide Not Out, meaning he thought it was a bump-ball and NZ declined to review? Ian didn't initially consult square-leg umpire, which he should do if unclear whether a bump-ball, and bowler walked back past him. Stadium staff interpreted this as Not Out decision, and showed replay. At some point player review deemed no longer available under 15-second rule. Possibly under pressure, Ian decides to consult square-leg umpire 50 seconds after incident. Replay shows he discussed it with McCullum first, in breach of protocol. What did McCullum say? Appendix 6 (2) says "players may not appeal to the umpire to use the Umpire Review" [constitutes dissent]. No clarification from Match Referee.

  • rnsmith on February 15, 2016, 2:09 GMT

    The Standard One-Day International Match Playing Conditions in Appendix 6 3.2(d) specifically states: "No replays, either at normal speed or slow motion, should be shown on a big screen to spectators until the time allowed for the requesting of a Player Review has elapsed". Was the match played in accordance with the Conditions? If a breach did occur and the umpires were influenced by it then absolutely Australia should be aggrieved. We don't want a precedent where ground officials can show replays prematurely to assist the home team, whether NZ or anywhere else.

  • LePom on February 11, 2016, 4:34 GMT

    Smith is right. The devision was handled poorly- by the Australian team. Get over it. After all, the correct decision was reached- the ball was hit by the batsman to the bowler who caugt it without it making contact with the ground. That is out. Not giving the batsman out would have been an error. Isn't the whole point of having umpires and rules and now technology all about trying to get the right decision? That is why we have bails, which were the first technological solution to detecting if the stumps had been hit.

  • Harmony111 on February 10, 2016, 15:42 GMT

    @seniorgators: I did not see the match live but there is a thing called youtube. Henry & WK made a half-appeal right after the catch was taken and then on his way back Henry again asked the umpire about it. NZ appealing harder should not matter cos teams have been in trouble for excess appealing in the past. You and many other are needlessly bringing in the replay in this issue. The umpires are free to do their job in the manner they feel like. If they can't be questioned for giving a wrong OUT, how can you question them for giving a wrong Not-Out and then thinking they needed extra help? If the next delivery had been in progress and then the umpires did this then may be you had half of an argument but not in this case. Even if the umpires did see the reply so what? So what? The 3rd umpire also would have used the same replay right? I really don't see the reason of this whining. And if CORRECT PROCEDURE is the point then the whole DRS procedure needs a lot of fine & coarse tuning...

  • seniorgators on February 10, 2016, 11:23 GMT

    @Harmony111 "It is not in doubt that umpires were talking about it" Sorry - that is 100% incorrect. Both umpires were standing in their normal positions when the replay came up on the big screen. Whilst the replays did not show their positions I am assured by people who were at the ground that they were indeed in position for the next ball to be bowled. Despite TV coverage not showing anything you will also note the commentators make no mention whatsoever of umpires conferring which they would have done if it had happened, The reason for this is that neither the Kiwi players nor the umpires thought initially it was out. Sure there was a small half appeal but if the Kiwis had thought it was out in the first instance they would have appealed harder and sought a referral. Clearly it was out with the benefit of the replay but if the big screen replay had not been shown, the next ball would have been bowled to Marsh. Correct decision- incorrect procedure. Dangerous precedent for future.

  • seniorgators on February 10, 2016, 11:04 GMT

    @ SAMEOLD "Raining on a much-loved, champion player's retirement parade" ? Seriously SAMEOLD !! "Shameful" extrapolation! Not sure if you noticed but the above article is about the Marsh dismissal. Plenty of other articles to give credit for a cricketing great. Everyone acknowledges that Marsh was out - Very few would not acknowledge that NZ were the best team. The issue is simply that the correct procedures were ignored and that sets a very dangerous precedent. McCullum said. "The right decision was made but the process was far from ideal. It's disappointing from the Australian point of view." In this incident neither the Kiwis, the umpires or the commentators thought it was out BEFORE it was shown on the big screen. Despite some people's assertions, the umpires were NOT conferring prior to the replay-they were standing in their normal positions. My Kiwi mates at the game confirmed this and it is blatantly obvious from the replay - also no mention by the commentators.

  •   Logic Rules on February 10, 2016, 8:01 GMT

    Personally, I want to see the correct decisions made, irrespective of time limits or conventions. I prefer the rugby type TMO where the TMO can call play back to correct a call. I am not suggesting that the rugby TMO is working perfectly at the moment, but I feel that if a call can be corrected before the next ball is bowled, it should be.

  • SameOld on February 10, 2016, 7:32 GMT

    @TAZ: I'd say your views about the review system don't really count, because there was no review.I was indeed watching. What I saw looked (live) like a bump ball, and what followed is very much like almost every claimed catch/bump ball I've ever seen (when the batsman has chosen not to walk): Half-hearted appeal from the catcher, umpire asking the other ump if he had a clear view, the batsman trying to look innocent while also trying not to limp on the foot he just cannoned the ball into: all exactly what you'd expect in the case of a possible bump ball. Guess what happens next if the game happens to be televised? That's right, the ump goes upstairs. That wasn't my point though. My point was the game is over, move on. Australia will very probably win the next one, and most of the ones after that. The correct decision was reached. Australia's whole cricketing philosophy is based around 'the ends justifies the means', but not in this particular case? Move. On.

  • taztigers on February 10, 2016, 6:31 GMT

    Was you watching the same game Sameold, might have been the correct call if it was done in the correct time. I believe you have 10 seconds to review a decision, how long after did they review, quite a long time I believe, matter of minutes & only after it was shown on the big screen which was the wrong thing to do also which probably should have made it null & void. Have-hearted appeal to start with, you cannot hold a game for that long, that is not what the review system was put into practice for. So Sameold if you don't know how the review system works I don't think your view really counts.

  • tottenhamant on February 10, 2016, 4:43 GMT

    I'm sure Marsh knew it was out. Why didn't he walk?

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