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Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day

Clarke defends Hughes over claimed catch

Peter English at the SCG

January 5, 2011

Comments: 73 | Text size: A | A

The Australians hoped Phillip Hughes had caught Alastair Cook, but replays showed the ball had touched the ground, Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2011
The Australians hoped Phillip Hughes had caught Alastair Cook, but replays showed the ball had touched the ground © Getty Images
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Michael Clarke has defended Phillip Hughes against Ian Botham's accusation of cheating and also cleared Ian Bell for not walking to a ball he was later shown to edge. Hughes was unsure whether he caught Alastair Cook at short leg, momentarily celebrating the dismissal before asking whether it had carried.

Cook, who was on 99, stood his ground and stayed when the replays showed the ball bouncing in front of Hughes. Botham was quick to criticise Hughes while commentating on Sky Sports. "Terrible," he said. "Cheating. How much do you want it to bounce into your hands? He knows he hasn't caught it."

Clarke, Australia's captain, said Botham's reaction was "a bit harsh". "I can guarantee one thing, Phillip Hughes is not a cheat, that's for sure," he said. "He's a wonderful young guy. The end result was spot-on. Hughesy wasn't sure, Brad Haddin wasn't sure, we made it clear to the umpires, the umpires referred the catch, checked it."

Cook thought the call was "very close". "To be fair to Phil Hughes he said straightaway, 'I wasn't sure'. Obviously I was going to hang around on 99, you've got to be dragged off. They went upstairs and I think the right decision was made."

Clarke said he hadn't seen the replay for either the Cook or Bell decisions, but had no problem with the use of technology, even though it's not perfect. "It's the same for both teams and I actually said that out there to Bell," Clarke said. "I said I do think, especially, Hotspot is inconsistent, but it's the same for both teams. I'm sure there's been plenty of cases when we've been batting and the same thing's happened, so it's just about accepting the decision and getting on with it."

Bell was 67 when he was given out caught behind by Aleem Dar, taking a relatively long time to decide on referring the decision. Hotspot didn't show a mark on numerous replays so the third umpire Tony Hill overturned the ruling. A few minutes later Snicko showed an edge, supporting Dar's original judgment.

The local crowd booed Bell when he reached his century, his first against Australia, and again when he was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson. Clarke felt Shane Watson deserved the original wicket, but didn't believe Bell had done anything wrong by not walking off.

"I don't think Ian Bell is a cheat at all," Clarke said. "We thought there was an inside edge, we appealed that, it was referred. Technology says with the result that Ian didn't hit the ball." Clarke said he would find it hard to believe any batsman would refer a caught decision if he knew he'd nicked it.

Cook was at the other end to Bell. "It's a weird one because Michael Clarke had one at Brisbane where we were convinced and Snicko said he might have hit it," Cook said. "Belly said he wasn't sure, he didn't feel it, and Hotspot didn't show. Is Snicko totally right, no-one really knows?"

Michael Hussey was the only Australian who was seen to applaud both Cook and Bell when they reached their centuries, although Clarke had a different view. "I guarantee I clapped both their hundreds, and Cook's 150," he said. "I'm certain the rest of the team did. A lot of the guys said congratulations at tea, when Cook had a hundred."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 11:23 GMT)

Anyone who's ever batted at any level of cricket knows whether or not the ball has hit the bat. Bell is being disingenuous at best when he says he wasn't sure: batsmen are always sure.

The closest any commentator I've heard has come to acknowledging this truth is Justin Langer on TMS when he said, cynically, that if a batsman 'isn't sure' you can reckon he hit it. But no one wants to call Bell a cheat. And indeed he did have every right to request a review as the system stands, although it seems a little strange that he would expose himself to ridicule by requesting a review knowing he'd hit it and that the technology would reveal this. Perhaps the desire for an Ashes century was just strong enough to temporarily disconnect his brain. Either way I'd like to see him apologize and admit he hit it, but I don't think they're planning on holding the winter olympics in Hell just yet.

The sooner these reviews are taken out of the players' hands the better. It must be left up to the umpires.

Posted by longdonkey on (January 6, 2011, 5:34 GMT)

I don't think you can call Hughes a cheat and then not call Bell a cheat as well and visa versa I suppose. Both were using the system to extract a decision for the team. Problem is you have a situation where, is trying cheat technology any better than trying to cheat a person. Greg Dyer tried cheating in about '86/87 and never played again I don't see the intent of Bell being much different because as a player he would have known he hit it. The idea of the technology is to get decisions right and they are still not getting correct decisions. Hawk Eye is a joke there have been a number of LBW that there was no way they'd hit although hawkeye has them clipping stumps. As for Aleem Dar being the best umpire, English supporters would say that becasue every one of his decisions have gone Englands way. I'd sooner see the technology gone and you accept the umpires decision right or wrong

Posted by bingobob on (January 6, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

I've had my suspicions about hotspot for a while. Don't get me wrong, every team using the UDRS has (at some time) benefited. Either 1 of 2 things is happening. 1. Nicks aren't being registered on hotspot... Or 2. When a ball goes really close to the bat (without actually touching the bat) a sound is made. It was the same with Pietersen's decision in Melbourne. The noise couldn't have been anything but bat on ball (unless option 2 is to be believed).

Posted by cricketcritic on (January 6, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

I can't understand anyone getting stuck into Aleem Daar AT ALL over the Bell decision. I understand that the third umpire referred back to him and said "there's nothing here to suggest it's out, so its over to you". After that advice he would have been crazy to do anything other than reverse his decision. If he'd gone the other way we would really have a controversy...All that said the system definitely has flaws

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 2:26 GMT)

Snicko being "right" or "wrong" is not the question, that fact is that if there is a noise snicko will show it and if you have an understanding of the "wav" format it is easy enough to define what is bat and what is not. If we use the challenge system ALL available technology must be clearly utilized or it is nothing short of a farce.

Posted by CustomKid on (January 6, 2011, 2:23 GMT)

@5wombats I'm not saying they're angels - I'm saying that as far as Australian crowds go they have the most knowledge and passion for the game and show due respect. Lords it the UK's spiritual home the SCG's is ours. They apprecaite good cricket and applaude accordlingly. There are always idiots at a game of cricket I'm not deniing that. Geez they even let your mob the Barmy in to Lords so say no more!

As for Bell's record he might have played 4 and won 3 but has contributed next to nothing bar this tour that is what I'm getting at. The Aussies have been creamed - the entire ENG top 7 has made a 100 bar colly so it goes without saying they're not playing much chop in terms of opposition. Saying other wise would be stupid. 3 years ago I'm sure you were one of millions calling for bell to never play again, now your jumping to his defence - how times of changed.

I accept defeat and the Aussies are going to get worse before they get better. Eng are better in all areas.

Posted by SprinklerSam on (January 6, 2011, 2:01 GMT)

I think at the end of the day it shows technology must be used

Posted by SprinklerSam on (January 6, 2011, 1:54 GMT)

@marcio Do you think England were the better team or just lucky...???

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 1:03 GMT)

Clark another Punter in making...Look who is defending Hughes. Clark himself was part of the cheating episode on the same ground claiming Ganguly's catch. Play Honest Ozz....Where is your hard game Ozz. Punter is the greatest allrounder as he has some umpiring decision under his belt which players like Kallis and fredie will never aspire for!!!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 0:55 GMT)

@A.ak: there is a big difference between what aussies did vs india and what bell did yesterday ( or what many people thought anyways). The perception is Bell knew he had nicked it, umpire gave him out, and then Bell said to the umpire "mate, i think you are wrong and i challenge your decision". So that is clearly not on. There is nothing wrong with not walking. Even sachin did not walk at newlands on day 3 when he was on 49. But it is entirely different to ask for a review when u know u are out. Btw, I really liked the lack of arrogance clarke brings to the team. Ponting should learn something from this. I hope Clarke stays on as captain. I am pretty sure Ricky would have argued with aleem dar over both calls.

Posted by number-09 on (January 6, 2011, 0:31 GMT)

gogoldengreens - Why is it that you guys glorify Gilchrist for walking, as if he was the only one, as far as I am concerned he came late in the game of walking. You could be Guaranteed that Lara walked, even when umpires as unsure. I have never known Lara to stand when he nicked a ball.

Posted by THammer on (January 6, 2011, 0:12 GMT)

I wonder what Beefy's thoughts were following Strauss' grassed catch off Hughes in the last Ashes series? I bet he wasn't as keen to run his mouth and question the integrity of the English captain - and Strauss even told the batsmen he caught it on that occasion!

Posted by Rooboy on (January 5, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

I wonder why Botham didn't make similar comments when Strauss performed the same trick off Ponting, and, unlike this situation, Ponting was actually given out. What a hypocrite!! @AaronD84 - no, blame the umpiring for the Bell decision. The umpire originally gave it out, the replay didn't conclusively indicate one way or the other, so why change the original (and correct) decision? That mistake is on the umpire, not technology. @5wombats - what is the relevance of your comment 'Bell's Ashes series record is played 4 won 3' when the point you are arguing is whether Bell is good enough to score against the great Aussie teams?! CustomKid is spot on while your counter argument is totally illogical. By your reasoning - McGrath's Ashes record is played heaps, won all but one, therefore he is good enough to score a hundred against England. What?!?

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

Several readers are comparing Bell's decision in Sydney with Clarke's in Brisbane. But the two are different in several ways. Clarke WASN'T given out by the on-field umpire. Bell was. (Would Clarke have walked had he been given out?) In both cases, however, the UDRS evidence presented to the 3rd umpire was NOT sufficiently conclusive to overrule the original decision, and yet Bell was reprieved. It is the UDRS that failed yesterday. As for those who insist that Bell knew he hit it and Hughes knew it bounced, where does your mind reading prowess come from? This are so many cases of fielders genuinely believing they caught the ball when 2D replays are inconclusive. If the fielders feel the ball squeezing down on their fingers, that is what will influence them. So get off your high horses and stop hurling accusations that in a court of law would never stand up and could be branded libelous.

Posted by slugger1969 on (January 5, 2011, 23:04 GMT)

Alistair Cook said 'it was a weird one'. This, of course, is professional sportsman speak for 'he got away with one there didn't he?' As for Botham...what a self righteous, pompous twit. No wonder Ian Chappell wants to belt him in the head. I wonder if he called Strauss a cheat when he 'caught' Phil Hughes in England in 2009. No, of course not.

Posted by Meety on (January 5, 2011, 22:49 GMT)

Re: Hughes no catch, as Pup said, the right decision was made. Everybody knows taking catches in those circumstances is difficult to judge. No cheating involved. Re: Bell, Bell had every right to stand his ground & review the decision. I am divided on whether the final decision was right or not. On the "Right" side, the batsmen is entitled to the benefit of the doubt, which he got. On the "Wrong" side I beleive that the review process did not PROVE Dar had been wrong. In the end I am mildly okay with the decision because I think Hot Spot is a far better tool then Snicko. The thing I don't like is that the Umpire gets to change his mind on a "line ball" decision. Yes he should change his mind if it was CLEARLY not out, but I think on the evidence presented that was not definately the case - then his original decision stands. I'm spewing about it, because it could of been the lead towards a recovery, but such is life!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 22:43 GMT)

@land47...enjoy this English dominance while it lasts. It certainly won't last as long as Australia's did. And I will admit, a 3-1 scoreline is probably deserved. But the Aleem Dar decision to reverse his dismissal of Bell was without a doubt the worst use of the UDRS that I have seen. (I understand there have been some shockers in the Caribbean which I didn't see.) Where was the CONCLUSIVE evidence to overturn his original decision, which at it's worst, was NOT a howler? Even hotspot showed the faintest discolouration for the briefest moment at a point where the ball passed the bat. There was also a noise as the ball passed the bat on the audio (not using snicko.) For the most part, I am a big fan of the UDRS, but there are plenty out there who aren't, and a colossal breakdown like this will give them plenty of ammunition.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 22:30 GMT)

I totally agree with Landl47. If technology is going to be used it should be for the umpires only. The players should have no part in referring decisions.

Posted by crankypet on (January 5, 2011, 22:28 GMT)

Ian Bell used the URDS to refer an LBW given out off the bowling of Harris in the 2nd innings in Perth everyone knew was out including himself without even a slow motion replay. England were on the ropes and he was the last hope, so even though it was plumb and shown to be hitting midway up the middle stump, he still called for it. Hoping for a noball? In that case, why is every dismissal whether it is referred or not checked for a noball. That was pathetic of Bell to refer that decisi0on and he made himself look like a cheat then, but it was deemed "smart use of the URDS", since they were not likely to use the referrals later! In this case, he called for it again.....based on the character shown from the previoud time, one would have no doubt he knew he nicked it.

Posted by cricketcritic on (January 5, 2011, 22:25 GMT)

Well call me a cynic, but Michael Clarke's own character isn't so flash that i'll take his word on this one. Only a few weeks ago we were talking about his actions, use of twitter etc after getting out in the Adelaide test match. Hussey and Hilfenhaus aside this Aussie team looks to be full of a bunch of boys who aren't comfortable in their own skins just yet.

Posted by 5wombats on (January 5, 2011, 22:06 GMT)

@CustomKid; Despite my handle (I love wombats...) I am true blue Barmy. I've been on the Hill (as it used to be) at the SCG many a time and "purist" is not a word I'd use to describe the folks up there.... Your point about Bell; "Deep down he knows he was never good enough against the truly great Aussie teams of yesteryear hence it took 31 innings for him to get his 100." is UTTER UTTER GARBAGE. Bell's Ashes series record is played 4 won 3. What's Clarke's record? And he's going to be the captain of Australia - you are having a laugh. Aus have been pasted - get over it. At least Clarke is a sportsman; he did the right thing on the pitch and said the right thing at the press conference - Ponting would have gone ballistic.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 21:34 GMT)

That often used excuse "I'm not sure if I caught it" you can only sell to people who have not played any form of organized cricket. When a ball bumps it comes into your hand differently compared to a ball that comes straight in.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (January 5, 2011, 21:33 GMT)

If Bell didn't knick the ball why not refer straight away? Why do you need to chat about that - It is not like LBW where you need your partners input into where the ball was pitching/striking. However I also disagree with Ponting that you should take the feilding teams word for it... The only cricketer that word you could really trust would be Adam Gilchrist - Walking in the world cup final!!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 21:27 GMT)

@landl47, spot on, let the umps review every potential situation, in 99% of cases they have the time to be able to do so before everyone is ready to bowl the next ball anyway, and can stop play via radio to on field ump if required for that extra 10-20 seconds to be sure if they feel they need to look at more replays. 3rd ump check every ball for no-ball and advise on field ump where they need to correct themselves,

Posted by tim72 on (January 5, 2011, 19:31 GMT)

the problem is that we have people who are not qualified reviewing the technology. snicko works well if you understand what a noise spectrum is. the noise generated from wood on a ball is very different than that of ball on something else, and its evident in the way that the spectrum appears. the problem is that the reviewers think that anything showing means it has hit the bat. secondly, hot spot only shows heat. so a faint edge will leave barely any heat at all. The key- that everybody seems to have missed- in the bell dismissal , was that the rotation of the ball changed after it passed the bat. it started to rotate faster than it had on approach. that, coupled with the very faint hotspot- and the snicko spectrum, meant that he had hit the ball. its very frustrating as an engineer to watch these things as they are fundamental sciences being interpreted by people who just dont get it.

Posted by mrklinkerpants on (January 5, 2011, 19:12 GMT)

Talking about snicko, surely any noise co-inciding with the ball passing the bat could lead to a batsmen being wrongly given out? It may be a massive coincidence but the law of averages dictates that sooner or later it would happen.

I remember some ex-pro pundit making the point that sometimes as a batsmen goes hard at the ball, the bat handle can sometimes flex around the splice area and cause a 'clicking' sound that for all the world sounds like a faint edge. I kept wicket in a club game once when all the slips and close-fielders went up for a caught-behind after hearing a loud snick as the ball went past the bat. Only myself and the bowler failed to appeal as the ball was clearly a huge distance away from the bat.

Posted by swervin on (January 5, 2011, 18:55 GMT)

who cares if they clapped or not - i mean really...geez this game is getting boring...

aust's problem is all these kids coming through are just too soft...having said that hughes, khawaja etc are the best we have so going to have to stick with them and toughen these blokes up, which will hopefully happen...

as for cheating, you can't really cheat with all this technology now so get over it...

Posted by HawK89 on (January 5, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

Also, why would Bell ask Prior for any opinions on if he nicked it? If Bell knows he hasn't hit it, then why ask the guy a pitch length away that if he hit it or not? maybe to see if he will get lucky and use a review on an actual batsmen,

Posted by Chapelau on (January 5, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

A lot of this discussion is academic since England were and are so far ahed of Oz that they seem to be in a different class. Result - as many others have also said all along looks like being 3-1 to England. Amongst the bad sportsmanship of Hughes and Haddin it is refreshing to see Clarke being quite diplomatic - unlike his bad tempered predecessor!

Posted by truebus on (January 5, 2011, 17:05 GMT)

@something_witty, Aleem Dar is the best umpire in the world - full stop. As an englishman who once wanted to be a professional umpire and knows the rigors, I can tell you that Mr. Dar has been nothing short of exceptional. His judgment is good and concentration is impressive (never misses no balls etc) and most importantly is humble enough to use technology even to review even his own decisions. He is the first umpire to be truly comfortable today's world where technology and on-field umpiring coexist. Every other umpire has been a little nervous about technology second guessing their decisions.

Posted by Something_Witty on (January 5, 2011, 16:35 GMT)

landl, you know as well as I do that that is simply not true. With everything happening very quickly, it is very difficult to tell if a ball carried or not in circumstances like the ones that arose today. Might I remind you of an almost identical set of circumstances at Lord's in 09, only on that particular occasion, Strauss was the one claiming the catch. (And for some stupid reason the umps didn't check). I wonder what good ol' Beefy Botham would've made of that little incident hmm? I do agree about the umpires being in control of the reviews though.

Posted by jackanderton on (January 5, 2011, 15:25 GMT)

Australia in this game had the right idea batting first, and all that's happened is England have batted really well and shown the temperament to succeed down under. A few things have gone our way but not to a massive extent. If you no-ball that's your fault not ours. Likewise not taking catches and not getting the breaks on referrals. You need luck regularly in cricket, but it's the hard work inbetween that deserves credit. We've been dominant but with the wicket not doing much yet I won't feel secure until the lead becomes 250 to 300.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

Clarke din't have a choice but NOT accuse Bell for not walking...... not so long ago he did not walk till the referral ruled him out... and then he made a big fool of himself by Apologizing for not walking on TWITTER. I am sure that was on his mind.

Cricket Australia is seriously short of choices for them to hire Clarke as the Captain of the team.

Posted by Paul_JT on (January 5, 2011, 14:42 GMT)

It was an intriguing day for the technology and the review process. It is in its infancy and can be refined. Would Bell have referred if England had only one successful review per innings? Unlike the 'traffic light' process for lbw decisions, there does not appear to be a checklist for thin edges. Having first viewed replays, second hotspot and third sound, all should be conclusively against the on field umpires original decision for it to be overturned. Whatever the systems and technologies players must ultimately take responsibility for their own actions. Both Hughes and Bell let themselves down by not acting on their first impressions.

Posted by landl47 on (January 5, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

Hughes and also Haddin, who could be seen on TV not going up with the appeal, could have said straightaway that the ball wasn't caught. I have no problem with them leaving it up to the umpires, but then that gives Bell the right to have his decision reviewed as well. I don't agree with those who say that Dar should have stuck to his original decision; clearly he didn't see any deflection (even on super slo-motion there was no deflection) and when the third umpire told him hot-spot showed nothing, he really had no choice but to give not out. I would like to see the players' right to ask for a reviewl taken away and all decisions left to the three umpires working as a team. The third umpire would review ALL decisions and if any were clearly wrong (as opposed to inconclusive) he would advise the field umpires. That would be simple and it would keep the decision-making where it should be, in the hands of the umpires.

Posted by Henry_Kane on (January 5, 2011, 14:12 GMT)

@Something_Witty: Actually, Aleem Dar made the right decision - he gave Bell out. If any official was to blame, it was Tony Hill, the third umpire. But he made his judgement based on the evidence presented to him. If the evidence suggested Not Out, then the blame surely lies with the deficient technology. However, that technology almost always helps make the right decision; today's case was an exception. Atherton made a valid point: Should the 3rd umpire be overruling the on-field decision if, as in this case, it can't be called a glaring error? (Indeed, it wasn't even an error by the on-field umpire at all.)

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

Snicko has been shown to be unreliable. When the ball is extremely close to the edge, the air squeezed between the bat and ball can create a sound which appears similar to an edge.

Posted by Chadballuza on (January 5, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

The cameras didn't see anyone applaud Cook's hundred but did see Beer march straight past him. They also showed Hughes take the ball, look confused, see everyone appealing then decide to throw the ball up and claim it. Didn't look good.

@something witty, what has Dar done wrong?

@Blakey,using hotspot on the ball is a ridiculous idea, there is normally a fairly big mark on the ball from where it cannons into the pitch at 80mph.

Also, when you over step the line it's a no ball, and therefore can't be out. This has been a rule for quite a while. Surely if Billy thought it was a no ball and asked if it to be checked, if technology wasn't there he may have just called it anyway at the risk of calling a perfectly decent delivery a no ball. If a genuine no ball has irked you so much, imagine what this would have done!!!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 12:45 GMT)

Hey Paul, I'm not sure which hundred you were talking about with Cooky (great series from him btw) but if it was the 150 when he was bowling you could see him say well done or something to that effect.

Posted by actixkeith on (January 5, 2011, 12:40 GMT)

The problem with looking for a hotspot on the ball is that there is always one from where it pitched, so it wouldn't be conclusive.

Posted by aracer on (January 5, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

I'm impressed by Clarke, and actually hoping he makes some runs second time round now to improve his chances of keeping the captaincy - on this showing he's a far better sportsman than Ponting.

@Blakey - how on earth do you know Bell knows he hit the ball? As Clarke says, why would you waste an appeal if you knew you'd nicked it - all previous evidence suggests you're extremely unlikely to succeed.

Posted by vatsap on (January 5, 2011, 12:24 GMT)

As always good on Hussey. Possibly the only Aussie who doesn't sledge or make a big deal when someone has a go at him. A great cricketer and what committment on the field. Thankfully back to form and we can hopefully see him for a couple more years. Best to bring on the 3rd umpire for close catches, technology is uniformly consistent, better to trust that than a bump catch claiming fielder.

Posted by Trickstar on (January 5, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

@ Blakey That's rubbish mate about luck, apart from the Bell one, you're bowlers have bowled 2 no balls and got wickets, rightfully they changed the decision, just like in the Oz v India series, when Clarke got to stay after Sharma dismissed him and another batsman that I can't recall. As far as weather, your bowlers had the best of the 1st test, the 3rd test and have had the same conditions in this test, it's just when they've had good conditions, or the new ball, they've wasted them nearly every time. The biggest decision in the whole series imo went against England and that was when Hussey was plumb Lbw at about 30 odd and went on to make 185. The thing about things going against you, is you only remember you're own, but during a 5 test series they even themselves out.

Posted by vswami on (January 5, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

So hot spot doesnt always show a nick, snicko may or may not be reliable, hawk-eye is fantasy that shows everything hitting the stumps. Bring on the technology.

Posted by freo75 on (January 5, 2011, 11:55 GMT)

@ Blakey - are you serious? Australia are hurtling rapidly towards their third innings defeat of the series and you think they are unlucky? You have been well and truly stuffed, try showing a bit of humility.

Posted by I.B.Jamin on (January 5, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

Some interesting comments people, I like Clarke also as i think he is honest, shows recognition of oppositions achievements and doesn't make excuses. Hussey is a legend I agree, and being a NZer it is hard for me to compliment these Aussie's. Even though i live in Melbourne (and England looks down on NZ as a cricketing nation) I support England as i just like the way they are playing the Game as of late.

But I don't think Hughes is a cheater, he got excited and then realized he wasn't sure. I truly believe Ian Bell was unsure, as i have had the same thing once where i didn't feel a nick, why would you refer a nick if you KNEW for sure you hit it. Snicko is not 100% accurate, im not saying he didn't hit it, im just saying he obviously wasn't sure.

Posted by woodybp on (January 5, 2011, 11:45 GMT)

Ian Botham and his England pals should remember his team are no saints, the England team celebrated a catch behind against Pakistan in the summer and when the umpire said not out they didn't even refer because they knew for a fact it wasn't out. So just remember sir Botham that all teams try it on.

Posted by A.Ak on (January 5, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

Before anyone talking about Bell or anything, recall what Aussies have done couple of years ago in this very ground. It left to the umpires to decides, NO more controversy. I must say unlucky Beer. Hope he is not out of the team after this test match based on the statistics, like they did to Jason Krejza after his second test match (he is got 8 for, in his first).

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 11:14 GMT)

Hughes may have been uncertain but he certainly claimed the catch by his actions - throwing the ball high in the air & exchanging high-fives with his team mates. Haddin was also certain that it wasn't a catch but he joined in as well. What actually happened was that the Australian team celebrated as if they had taken a wicket, Cook didn't move and so the umpires consulted.

Posted by Harry_m on (January 5, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

@Something_Witty: Correct - though I would offer a different take on the Strauss catch off Hughes in 09. At that point I was more annoyed with the fact the umpires did not decide to take the decision upstairs, especially given one of the English batsmen was reprieved for a similar disputed catch.

I don't see how Botham has grounds to call Hughes a cheat when even Cook admitted that Hughes said he wasn't sure. As for Bell, he hit it, he gambled and won. Thats a flaw in the system that occurs when you have referrals in the bank.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 11:10 GMT)

I would like to point out that HotSpot is so much more accurate than Snicko that it's ridiculous. If Hot Spot didn't show a nick, but Snicko did, I'm going with Hot Spot every time. That's the reason Hot Spot is used for UDRS but Snicko isn't, as well as the time it takes for Snicko to generate a reading

Posted by 200ondebut on (January 5, 2011, 11:07 GMT)

Beefy was harsh - however I think his comments are designed to wind up his counterparts in the Channel 9 booth rather than an attack on Hughes. Replays show Hughes and Haddin not really appealing - it was only the overexcitement of Clarke and others that convinced them to join in.

With regard to the Bell incident. Hotspot says he didn't hit it snicko says he did. Which technology is more accurate? If it is snicko why is this not used instead? The upshot is that there was doubt and, unfortunate as it is, the doubt should go in the batsmans favour.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 11:06 GMT)

It is quite clear that Hot Spot doesn't pick up very fine edges as there have been a few in this series (for both sides). At least Clarke acted like a man and not a spoilt child as per Ponting. What can Bell do? He's not going to walk as Clarke didn't earlier in the series. The Aussie crowd should be ashamed of themselves, they are letting their country down more than the cricketers.

Posted by swamistyle on (January 5, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

Phil Hughes may be a "wonderful young guy" but he absolutely knew wot he did & deserves the criticism coming his way. As for Bell's caught behind, that was poor form on his behalf I agree, but then again we r the last team who should complain about batsmen not walking. Hearing Mark Taylor's ludicrous proposal of reducing UDRS appeals to 1 made me cringe at his biased whinging. Clarke could also do well to remember the 1st test at the Gabba when Hot spot saved him from a caught behind that snicko proved he was out. England lost an appeal that they could have used later on when Hussey was given not out to a plum lbw. He made 200 & saved the match. UDRS has been a gr8 success this series, with many decisions corrected after review. Getting it rite has to take precedence over the antiquated notions of history & the ump is always rite mentality. Look at the poor decisions made in SA & think how they could have been helped by UDRS. ICC must make it manditory.

Posted by Dr.Qwert on (January 5, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

this is the same clarke that can knick it to 1st slip & wait for the decision, or start walking & creep back when the umpire looks puzzled. what's the point in accepting technology isn't always right & having it instead of an umpire who also isn't always right. scrap the system, it's clearly failed this series, wastes time & still doesn't give the correct decision.

Posted by Marcio on (January 5, 2011, 10:52 GMT)

As if Hughes would be deliberately lying when there are tv cameras all over the place and huge screens at the ground replaying it from all angles. What do you think he is, an idiot? I was disappointed to see the cricinfo "commentator'' imply that Hughes was being dishonest, suggesting he "looked bad". The logical conclusion is that he was unsure of whether he had taken it cleanly or not, and was seeking clarification. There is no need for mind reading evil intentions into players minds when there is a perfectly rational explanation for the behaviour at hand, and where there is no possible chance of deception occurring.

Posted by AaronD84 on (January 5, 2011, 10:52 GMT)

@ Something_Witty - It says Aleem Dar took his time then gave the decision out. It was referred to the 3rd Umpire and he over ruled the decison based on what the technology being used showed. There's only Hawk Eye (Or whatever the other version is called) and hotspot being used, Hotspot saw nothing so the decision was reversed. Blame the technology not the umpiring.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 10:44 GMT)

he shouldn't have thrown the ball up and celebrated like he did after he knew he was unsure

Posted by hyclass on (January 5, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

I have great respect for Sir Ian Botham for both his cricketing prowess and his charity walks. I think on this occassion, his undoubted passion for his country has overridden his better judgement. It takes only a few seconds of viewing the catch footage to see Phillip Hughes putting his arms out to indicate he was unsure about the catch. It was indeed very close and any suggestion of cheating can only dredge up unnecessary and unwanted ill feeling without justification. The irony will not be lost on Phillip Hughes whose own career was terminated in the second test of the 2009 series under similar circumstances. It was clear at the time that the selectors, captain and coach had planned for Watson to be in the ashes team all along. Coach Nielsen admitted as much at the time. Captain Strauss claimed a catch when Hughes was on 17, that fell far shorter of his hands. Very little was made of it at the time as it conveniently allowed Hughes' removal, though replays supported him.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 5, 2011, 10:39 GMT)

@Blakey..... Yawn!

Nice excuses though.

Posted by the_blue_android on (January 5, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

Bell nicked and didn't get out? What happened to UDRS?

Posted by johnsenden2011 on (January 5, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

I know australia have played some terrible cricket this summer, but that bell incident really summed up Australia's luck lately. For a while now, everybody has been saying that technology must be used to get the right results, because the umpires are making a few mistakes here and there. In this instance the umpire got it right and technology made the mistake; oh the irony!! ha ha ha

Posted by CustomKid on (January 5, 2011, 10:29 GMT)

@something witty hence the boos from a large part of the crowd once he got there. Cook received great applause when he reached triple figures, as would have bell had he genuinely deserved it. Sydney fans are cricket purists, probably the best in Australia and they applaud both the home and opposition sides deservingly. I'm an aussie and don't particularly mind bells decision to refer it, the fact technology isn't 100% fool proof got him to his ton - so be it. He's the one who knows if he cheated or not and has to live with it. Deep down he knows he was never good enough against the truly great Aussie teams of yesteryear hence it took 31 innings for him to get his 100. Lets face it this attack is a good first grade side nothing more. Like they say though, you still have to score them still and bells name says 115 in the score book end of story.

Posted by THammer on (January 5, 2011, 10:23 GMT)

Players were fine with what went on - Hughes called that he wasn't sure and Bell was within his rights to exploit the system. Yet Beefy, the accuser, is the one who looks like the biggest goose in the end. Hardly surprising. Lighten up old man.

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (January 5, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

Hughes started celebrating even though he clearly KNEW the ball had dropped short. He was NOT UNSURE about this. So, that was clearly a pathetic moment. On the other hand Bell's knick was incredibly subtle -- one which even hot-spot failed to pick up. That's whey he was UNSURE and made the right decision to call for the review.

Posted by Aspraso on (January 5, 2011, 10:20 GMT)

Oh Clarke defends Hughes - no surprise there -- ask the Indians -- they know a thing or two about Clarke and his claims for catches.

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (January 5, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

@Something_Witty, Bell first one to reach the hundred "undeservedly" this summer? What about Hussey's 195 at Gabba? He was plumb LBW at 82 but Aleem Dar let him off the hook and England had no reviews left.

Posted by trumpoz on (January 5, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

Botham needs to get over himself..... Yes he is a commentator, yes he needs an opinion. To call Hughes a 'cheat' is to say that he claimed a catch that he knew was not out. I don't know what Ian Botham was watching at the time but Phil Hughes definately unsure of the situation. With technology available it was the right thing for it to be checked and the correct decision was made.

I think the real issue is with hotspot not being completely accurate..... that is the second time this series were a batsman has been out and it has not shown up on hotspot (thankfully it is one for each side). For once the commentators on channel 9 had an idea that was reasonable having some sort of 'judgement call' from the central umpire who in both cases would/could have hear a nick.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 5, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

Clarke's honesty and humility is already a breath of fresh air. I dare say his predecessor would still be grumbling to the media about both decisions.

Posted by Blakey on (January 5, 2011, 9:34 GMT)

Bell knew he hit the ball, he just wanted to check if the technology saw it. Why don't the 3rd umpires check for a hot spot on the ball? The hot spot technology is on both sides of the wicket. We need to stick with our team and be seen to be supportive. The little bits of luck that have gone against us for the last couple of ashes tours will turn around and run our way soon. Things like the marginal decisions, the weather conditions when we bat compared to when England bat and the toss have gone England's way in most circumstances. Give our bowlers a few more runs to bowl against and all will be better sooner rather than later.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 9:25 GMT)

I actually don't mind Clarke, but he needs to realise that good sportsmanship will do his reputation the world of good, both with home fans and away. I know Hughes didn't clap Bell, and Beer didn't clap Cook as you could see them on TV.

However, i do wish Mike Hussey was English - what a legend.

Posted by Something_Witty on (January 5, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

Hughes did nothing wrong, he said he was unsure about the catch. - He did the exact OPPOSITE of what Strauss did to him at Lord's in 09. Bell's non-dismissal really was a shocker on Dar's part. It is the only time this summer I have believed that someone reached a hundred undeservedly. Still, you win some and you lose some I guess.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

it didn't look good. but later in the day when the umpire over turned a decision he gave out and when the third ump told him he can give him out

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