Australia v England, 5th ODI, Adelaide

Captains uncertain over Bopara stumping

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 26, 2014

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Ravi Bopara was given out after Matthew Wade deflected the ball on to the stumps, Australia v England, 5th ODI, Adelaide, January 26, 2014
There was some disagreement about Ravi Bopara's stumping in the penultimate over © Getty Images

Both Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke admitted to confusion about the pivotal stumping of Ravi Bopara during England's run chase. With England requiring nine runs from nine balls and two wickets still standing, Bopara was given out by the third umpire, after lengthy deliberation, as a delivery from Clint McKay rebounded off keeper Matthew Wade's gloves down on to the stumps, eventually dislodging the leg bail.

Replays were apparently inconclusive in proving whether the bail was fully out of the groove on middle stump before Bopara's foot, which had been raised, returned into contact with the ground. The Laws require the bail to be "completely removed from the top of the stumps" and Cook suggested the TV umpire, Kumar Dharmasena, might have erred when asked about the incident afterwards.

"I don't know if I'm being biased or not but I thought the rule was the bail had to leave both grooves and, looking at the TV screen, I thought there was enough doubt for it not to be given out," he said. "I'd love to be proved wrong in one sense, because it would make my mind rest a little bit easier, but I'm sure the third umpire can explain his decision.

"You don't want to look at that one isolated incident but with Ravi there, with eight needed off eight balls or whatever it was, you've got a very good chance. Ravi can clear the ropes when he wants to and he's obviously taken it deep and we feel in control, even though we're losing wickets at the other end. You don't blame one incident when there are 600 balls in the game but it was obviously a big call at a big time."

Clarke, Australia's captain, said it was his decision to have Wade standing up to the stumps during the penultimate over, adding that he hadn't been as confident as some of his team-mates about Bopara being given out. The dismissal left the last-wicket pair of Chris Jordan and James Tredwell too much to do as Australia wrapped up the series 4-1.

"I had an interesting conversation with Matthew Wade at the start of that over. He wanted to go back and I made it very clear I wanted him up to the stumps, so we went with that and fortunately [we were lucky]," Clarke said. "I couldn't really tell from the big screen [if it was out], there were probably mixed feelings out there, a lot of guys thought once the bail dislodged Ravi's foot was in the air, but I couldn't tell clearly enough, I probably felt 'has he just got his foot down' when the bail's dislodged, but I haven't had a chance to look at it closely on television, and I probably won't now either."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Looch on (January 29, 2014, 3:54 GMT)

He was clearly out, according to the laws and in the endless replays. Cop it and move on and don't be like rednwhitearmy, Hammond, front-foot-lunge who can't handle defeat and make a fool of themselves.

Posted by bren19 on (January 28, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Is it just Tests and ODI's or will the poms find something to whinge about in the T20's too?

Posted by satchander on (January 27, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

@cricketsubh : "pert wicket has flattened out in last 10 years" - are you mad? Perth may have slowed down a bit but still remains one of the fastest wickets in the world (I would say still #1). If anyone can score in Perth he definitely is world class in playing pace. Similarly if someone can score well in say Premadasa Stadium or Mumbai, then he is is a great player of spin. That is how it works.

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 27, 2014, 11:17 GMT)

I was surprised it was given but you make a simple and fair point @Shaggy076, from 20 metres away at square leg the foot was in the air when the stumps were broken, it's reasonable to think he'd have been given without use of a replay.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

You can only be run out if attempting a run, which Ravi was not. It was a stumping because the keeper broke the stumps with the batsman not in his crease. Whether it was intentional or not matters not.

Posted by Udendra on (January 27, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

That was clearly out. nothing to fuss about.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 27, 2014, 10:27 GMT)

@Green_and_Gold The case where this actually happened in the match was, I believe, a bowled. For a stumping it is very hard to imagine that that bail can be displaced without later falling, hence the "completely out of the groove" rule.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 27, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

The law says completely dislodged, as we can clearly see one bail dislodged and the bails are a rigi object physics dictates that the other end of the bail is also dislodged but by a smaller distance than the bail we can see. We only have to see one end of the bail dislodged before having conclusive proof to satisfy the law. Thus the rightdecision has been made.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (January 27, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

@Disco_bob & Stargazer - I think there would be an argument for the wicket to be given out. From what i understand of the laws - the bail must be out of both grooves for the wicket to be taken thus if the bail is completely in the air then at that point the wicket is out (regardless of if it falls back into the grooves). If only one side of the bail is raised and the other side remains in contact then that would be not out. It does make for an interesting conversation though.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (January 27, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

I have not seen the incident however reading the article is seems like the replays where inconclusive, in which case I thought that in the absence of definitive proof the batsman got the benefit of the doubt. Also to myknowledge if the if the keeper was not holding the ball it is not a stumping it is a run out as the bails need to be removed while the keeper is holding the ball.

However the result is in the record books and theres no point in getting 'upset' at it. england have in their time had a number of decisions go in thier favour, now they're going against. Such is life.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

as long as the ball came out of his hands and then hit the bail it is out. His Foot was clearly in the air. I can't understand what all the fuss is about. Another case of Whinging poms.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 27, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

The rule seems to be stupid, A vast majority of cricket games umpiring is done by the naked eye and not by video evidence. An umpire standing 20 meters away is only going to judge it on the incident causing the stumps to break and not the moment the bail had cleared from both ends of the stump. To the naked eye it was out, unfortunate but out.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 27, 2014, 6:32 GMT)

disco_bob It has happened and was not out because the bail did not fall.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 27, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy Seems no-one is in your class as a whinger, sunshine. Keep chewing those sour grapes old boy, we are all enjoying your posts.

Posted by fine-edge on (January 27, 2014, 5:59 GMT)

@willsrustynuts: A batsman has never had to "leave the crease", he only has to have no part of him grounded behind the crease to be out. That's how cricket is played and always has been for centuries. It doesn't "make a mockery of the laws, it IS the law, and is no stranger than any other law.

@thedontturns: "yeah heels showed his lack of class to put pressure on the off field umpire." The off-field umpire is not listening to the TV commentators, he is in audio contact with the on-field umpires and trying to make a decision. Do you really think he would turn on the TV commentary while he's doing this? Really?

Posted by ygkd on (January 27, 2014, 5:58 GMT)

So, Clarke said it was his decision that Wade stayed up at the stumps, brought about by the pair having "an interesting conversation". And some still doubt Clarke's captaincy skills?

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

@Daniel Aebi

As BBL has showed there have been instances where the Zinga bails have not actually lit up as the bail dislodges. One instance being the run out of Alfonso Thomas, as he was crossing the line the ball crashed into the wicket with the bails lighting up immediately, even though the bail had dislodged. The opposite has happened where the bail did not light up until the bail had been fully dislodged.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 27, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

Hypothetical question: If a batsman edged a ball onto the stumps and the bail flew an inch into the air and landed back in the grooves, would that be out? As far as I understand the laws the answer would be no.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 27, 2014, 4:24 GMT)

Just like how the rules were changed regarding UDRS after they whinged to the ICC following their 3-0 ashes loss in England, the rules seem to have been changed to suit australia on australia day.

Posted by Simoc on (January 27, 2014, 4:19 GMT)

There was a clear shot from behind the stumps shown eventually which showed the bail clear of the stumps and the foot clear of the ground. That is the only shot the third umpire needed to see. Correctly out every single time. Lucky one for Oz.

Posted by rpv1 on (January 27, 2014, 4:15 GMT)

@Peter Clatworthy - It's critical to read the Laws of Cricket alongside the interpretations. Here's what the MCC have to say about the interpretation of Law 28 and specifically "At what moment is the wicket to be considered down?".

"The wicket is put down as soon as a bail leaves the grooves and the position of the batsman is to be judged at that point. " Not completely removed, but left its grooves. The complete removal is the final evidence of the stumps being put down (and that clearly happened here), but according to the Law makers the judgement is made about the point when the stumps are broken is not at that moment, but at the point when the bail first leaves its grooves.

Posted by android_user on (January 27, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

as many are saying not out, any replay is inconclusive as no camera angle can cover the whole bail, who can with 100% certainty say that both sides of the bail had not lost contact with the stumps, camera would not pick up a deviation of 1 mm so it can only be assumed that bail may have jumped, then again it may not have, one solution would be to use the new zinga bails, which light up when dislodged, thus aiding 3 umpire and stopping nonsense about was he out or not

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

He was out. I just saw the replay on Youtube.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 27, 2014, 2:50 GMT)

As mentioned, the TV commentators seemed to believe that the bail being out of one groove was enough. Clearly they don't know the laws correctly but the umpire certainly should. We're all biased by our team preference but I don't see how anyone could say that those replays showed conclusively that Bopara's foot was still in the air when the bail was no longer in contact with either stump. What's done is done though. If the series was in the balance then I'd be more upset but that ship had sailed. If England have concerns then they should raise them with the ICC and they should then internally check the footage and discuss it with the umpire in question and, if they determine that a mistake was made, endeavour to ensure that it doesn't happen again. That's the best that can be hoped for at this stage because England still lost regardless.

Posted by mngc1 on (January 27, 2014, 2:29 GMT)

I just looked at the split screen replay from the back of the keeper. One end of the bail was about 1 cm off the stump with Bopara's foot in the air. The bail was horizontal and although one could not see the other end from that frame. it is physically impossible for the other end to be still in the groove. I think that he was out.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (January 27, 2014, 2:20 GMT)

a) Decision review process in force. b) ICC umpire requested a review by ICC umpire who viewed the available technology and applied his knowledge of the rules. c) ICC umpire made decision. Move on.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 2:17 GMT)

Australia was very lucky.

Posted by thedonturns on (January 27, 2014, 2:12 GMT)

yeah heels showed his lack of class to put pressure on the off field umpire - many of the ex players make crap up because that's how they played - the bail has to completely leave the stumps and no tv shot was provided to prove that when boparas foot was up the bail had completely the stumps - not lifted from one end like one eyed jack was asserting on Australia day. Win at all costs ozzies, the game is dead here look at bailey not walking after Clarke screaming about walking, the rules are open to re interpretation in the land of make believe every match

Posted by sreni on (January 27, 2014, 1:52 GMT)

Cook was trying to find reasons again. Dont know still why English Media is not raising against him, as they always do against KP. It is not just giving reply he is giving as shilingsworth was suggesting - he says Bopara was in control with 8 runs to get in 8 balls. May be in 8th match Bopara will get that score.

Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 1:44 GMT)

If Clarke is not certain about stumping he should have called back Ravi Bhopara, & asked him to continue the batting instead that he joined Cook & making all sorts of comments it is ridicules. you are representing Australia mind it

Posted by Bishop on (January 27, 2014, 0:30 GMT)

Have no doubt it was out, but I query whether it should be called a stumping as Wade had absolutely no control of the ball at any point. I think run out would be fairer. While it would deny McKay a wicket where he possibly deserved one, there is no way any keeper would have been able to take the ball with the usual "give" and return their hands to the stumps before the batsman's foot was back down. I don't see that Wade (who is a fairly ordinary glove man, let's face it) deserves a dismissal for having fluffed a take.

I think the record should read Bopara run out (Wade)... Perhaps those with a better knowledge of the laws can correct me.

As a last point, as an impartial observer, I feel sorry for England this summer. The few times they haven't been outplayed, they've been desperately unlucky.

Posted by wix99 on (January 26, 2014, 23:47 GMT)

I think Bopara should have been given the benefit of the doubt. Even if the bail was clearly off I don't think the TV replay can show clearly enough whether or not his foot was in contact with the ground. Hence, there are two elements of doubt in the decision. This should be in favour of the batsmen.

Posted by Mescalito on (January 26, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

Just watched another replay. Bail was completely dislodged with Bopara's foot in the air. No need to read the whole rule book. Clearly out, although terribly unlucky for Bopara as it just deflected off Wade. Come on England supporters. You've had all these chances to learn to lose with grace and you still haven't mastered it. How many more times do you have to lose?

Posted by   on (January 26, 2014, 23:28 GMT)

You know, when something gets this close, I think the benefit of the doubt should still go to the batsman. Even though I'm an Australian supporter, it didn't feel right he was given out. Cricket is not a black and white game.

I think something like this should be approached in a similiar way to "Umpire's Call" where 'umpiring humanity' is still retained. If the 3rd ump is still deciding after 300 replays spanned across 30 different camera angles, then the cricketing decision is not-out.

Posted by   on (January 26, 2014, 22:58 GMT)

Time and time again DRS and TV replays have shown that technology at the hands of incompetent umpires only causes greater confusion. We need good, solid umpires first - Taufel (AUS), Venkatraghavan(IND), Dickie Bird(ENG) and a few others whom I have missed.

Posted by dalboy12 on (January 26, 2014, 22:51 GMT)

A couple of points need to made here --- firstly, Cook is responding to a question, he's not blaming the decision for the lost and goes to great lengths not to. Secondly, as with many of the technology errors this season, the problem here again was not the technology, but human error. So it proves again that human error will still play a part in cricket decisions even when technology is being used. Maybe something that needs to be brought back into cricket is the "benefit of the doubt going to the batsman" - technology seems to have swung the doubt more in to the bowlers favour at times. In the end, for a while there I was watching England in the cricket and Wawrinka in the tennis both of which were trying their best to lose from winning positions, Turns out England are better at it than Wawrinka.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (January 26, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

Whether it should have been given out or not out, it remains the worst stumping EVER. How on earth does that dimissal go to a keeper who dropped it ?

Posted by CurrentPresident on (January 26, 2014, 21:23 GMT)

I can't believe how these rules were made when there were no slow motion replays! Could a square leg umpire really judge this by just real time eyesight (was the bail out of the groove when the foot was off the line)? Even with super slow motion replays it is tough to tell.

So why have such stupid ambiguous rules that a normal person cannot implement. Can't ICC revise the rule book and put in more prudent rules? Wait! it is busy playing money-grab and power-grab.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (January 26, 2014, 21:17 GMT)

In what way did Ravi leave the crease? He lifted his foot whilst playing a shot. He never left the crease - unless we are to believe he intended to float down the pitch? This is one of the strangest laws in cricket. It makes a mockery of the rules.

Posted by Rowayton on (January 26, 2014, 20:55 GMT)

Hilarious comment from Cook that '(Bopara) can clear the ropes when he wants to'. So in all the balls he faced, he didn't want to, are we to assume?

Posted by   on (January 26, 2014, 20:02 GMT)

A batsman should NOT be given out stumped unless the wicket has been "fairly put down" - LAW 39

A wicket is "put down" if a bail is "completely" removed from the top of the stumps - LAW 28

Here, once again, we have controversy caused by the use of television replays in order to "improve" decision making and the incorrect decision being made by the third umpire.

There is no doubt about this. Bopara's dismissal did NOT conform with the Laws of Cricket. If one end of the bail remained in contact with the top of the stumps then the bail had not been "completely" removed from the top of the stumps whilst he was out of his ground. No argument ... bad decision.

What would have happened if there was no television replay? I suspect that he would have been given out anyway. But that's not the point. So much for "improving" decision making using TV replays and a third umpire.

Peter Clatworthy Cricket Umpire Middlesex

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (January 26, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

@Hroff Yeah, that's right, but you have to interpret it together with Law 39 (Stumped), which says that the batsman is out stumped if he is out of his ground when the wicket is put down by the wicketkeeper. My interpretation is that the "wicket is put down" is complete when both ends of the bail come off the groove, if it subsequently comes in contact with the stump(s) again, that's inconsequential since the wicket has been already put down. If the batsman happens to be out of his ground at the time, he is out, returning back to the crease later doesn't matter.

Posted by Hrolf on (January 26, 2014, 18:39 GMT)

@Stup1d The rules as they are written are unclear. Law 28 requires "a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps" for the wicket to be put down, but it does not stipulate when this action is defined to occur with respect to the batsman being out of his ground. That's fine if you don't have slow motion replay. With TV it seems to be being interpreted as the moment a bail starts to leave the stump on the path of becoming completely removed from the stumps. Consider a) batsman leaves crease after bail is partially removed but before bail is totally removed b) bail comes off with batsman out of ground, but resettles with batsman in with c) this case

Posted by Chris_P on (January 26, 2014, 18:36 GMT)

@shillingsworth I undersand that, but why question an official in public & allow credibility issues to get raised? Let he without sin (or human error) cast the first stone. There are dozens of reasons England lost rather than cast aspirations on officials.

Posted by shillingsworth on (January 26, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

@Chris P - Cook was asked a question and gave an honest answer, as did Clarke. Cook seemed quite certain about the result and specifically mentioned that the match didn't turn on this one incident. Mountains and molehills spring to mind.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 26, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

Uncertain Cooky? Let me review the scorecard. Oh yes, here it is, it shows he was out stumped Wade off McKay. End of story, the officials have had their say, you keep playing, they'll keep adjudicating. Are you certain now?

Posted by WalkingWicket11 on (January 26, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

@broken_chairs The law 28 (The Wicket is Down) states "The wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps...." It is reasonable to say that if the bail is still in contact with one stump, it is not completely removed from the top of the stumps.

Posted by   on (January 26, 2014, 17:00 GMT)


Have you actually seen the replay? One of his feet was certainly outside the crease.

Posted by broken_chairs on (January 26, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

television commentators (here in aus) stated the bail only had to be out of one of the grooves to be a dismissal. if that's the correct interpretation of the rule then it seemed pretty clear he was out.

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