England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day July 12, 2013

Australia bite tongues over Broad decision


Australia are privately fuming but biting hard on their tongues and declining to express any public anger over the reprieve of Stuart Broad after the umpire Aleem Dar failed to detect a thick edge to slip from the bowling of Ashton Agar.

In the second major umpiring controversy in successive days at Trent Bridge, England were only 232 ahead when Broad stood his ground. Australia's players reacted with considerable dismay at the decision, which they could not refer to the third umpire after using up their DRS allocation earlier in the day.

Broad was still in occupation alongside Ian Bell at the close, by which time the hosts' lead had reached 261. While the players' immediate response on the field was plain, and the coach Darren Lehmann made his displeasure plain on the dressing room balcony, the fast bowler Peter Siddle did his best to avoid critiques of Broad, the umpires or the current protocols for the use of technology, saying only that he had only seen a bigger edge not given out "in the backyard maybe off my brother".

"How many people have ever walked? Some. That's right, some," Siddle said. "At the end of day it's the umpires' decision. The umpires make the decision and players stick with it. We just went about it. You finish the over and go through to the next over. If you watched out there, there wasn't a big deal made of it. We got stuck in and just kept working to get the wicket.

"Obviously people are going to be frustrated but it's hard out there for players, for umpires. It's a long day, it's a tough day for people out there. Things are going to happen and we just have to deal with it. That's just a part of the game and spectators have to understand that - that there are times when things like that happen. Obviously it's a long day and it's hard for everyone involved. We can't be blaming anyone."

Siddle's acceptance of Broad's failure to walk - common practice in professional cricket for a generation and more - was in contrast to howls of outrage on social media sites and from media commentators, many of who judged Broad's behaviour as immoral and unsporting.

Michael Holding, the former West Indian fast bowler, contended that Broad's behaviour was comparable to that of the West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who falsely claimed a catch against Pakistan in a Champions Trophy match at The Oval in London last month. Ramdin was banned for two one-day games by the ICC match referee, who happened to be Broad's father, Chris.

"What Stuart Broad did amounts to the same thing as Ramdin," Holding told Sky TV. "He knew he had hit the ball. The ICC fined Ramdin and suspended him for 'actions that were contrary to the spirit of the game'. What Stuart Broad did is contrary to the spirit of the game. He played the ball and stayed there."

The day after England sought clarification from the ICC following a Hot Spot operator error that contributed to Jonathan Trott's lbw dismissal, Dar's howler was not referred to technology that would have picked up the mistake because Australia no longer had any recourse to do so. Umpires do have the right to refer some decisions themselves if in doubt, but for now are limited to low catches and bump balls. Dar's refusal of Australia's appeal was as unequivocal as it was mistaken

"You can't do anything about that," Siddle said of the burned referrals. "You use them because you think you're going to get a result early on and you don't. You can't just hold them and put them in the back pocket and say 'I'm going to get one in the afternoon' and save it for that. You use them when you think there's a chance of getting a wicket and that's what they're there for."

For their part, England stood by the view that Broad was well within his rights to stand and wait for Dar's decision. It is debatable whether he would have done so had Australia still been able to use a video referral, but his team-mate Kevin Pietersen did not think Broad should have taken any other action in the circumstances.

"Each and every player who plays for their country, their club side, for their franchise or their county has the opportunity to wait for the decision the umpire makes and you respect the umpire's decision," Pietersen said. "We play hard. We play fair and each individual has the responsibility and makes the judgement if he will wait for the umpire's decision. Aleem Dar is a fantastic umpire and he has been rated one of the best umpires in world cricket over the last few years. Wait and respect his decision."

Contrary to reports, no apology has been forthcoming from the ICC to the ECB regarding the Trott decision on the second day.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo, George Dobell is senior correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kall on July 15, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Daniel Brettig & George Dobell should watch the Ramadin case again - nowhere does he "claim the catch". By the time he finishes fumbling, the umpire has already raised his finger in response to the appeal by the slip cordon and bowler. The error on Ramadin's part is that he didn't tell the umpire that he had fumbled the take. Similarly, Broad should have walked knowing fully well that he had nicked it! By not doing so, he has brought the game to the same disrepute that ICC claims Ramadin did. Holding is 100% right!

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    @Raveena Mrtha. I find your comments funny . Are you suggesting that Tendulkar always walked ? NO. There have been many many instances where he didn't and he has the right to do that. Secondly I wonder why did u miss Srikanth being called back by Imran Khan. Yes that was an India Pakistan match and Srikanth was RIGHTFULLY given out but kept on crying as usual so Imran called him back and guess what ? he got out again to the same bowler without scoring any further runs ( the very next ball or not I am not sure). Wonder why did u miss that ??

  • H on July 13, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Have to say, while I don't expect batsmen to walk, no matter how blatant the nick is, banning Ramdin and not punishing Broad similarly would be a horrible double-standard. Not least of which because it was Stuart's father who was involved with the Ramdin incident. If the ICC thinks they were wrong with the Ramdin case, the correct course of action would be to publicly admit it, rather than try and pretend like Stuart's situation is any different.

  • Paulinus on July 13, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    It's unfortunate the way the game stands. Australia would have had a ood chance of winning it had Broad been given out. Just bad luck Aussie boys keep fighting. Such a fantastic game was marred with some poor umpiring decisions.

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Tendulkar? Dravid? Gilchrist? Men of character. Or may be a certain Marvan Attapatu? When he was the Sri Lankan captain, he actually called back Symonds. Yes, CALLED BACK a player who was given out unfairly. Can you even imagine that? And a bit of nostalgia, but I recall a famous instance in 1979 in a Bombay Test (I think) when Gundappa Viswanath called back Bob Taylor because he was falsely given out. England went to win that test because of Taylor-Botham partnership. There are enough examples for people to follow, but as Siddle puts it - unfortunately, they are few and far between. Now that you have set a precedent in the case of Ramdin, you MUST punish Broad. Yes, if they had let Ramdin go, then I can understand ICC sitting still. But, they did set a precedent there. Would reek of sheer bias, if they failed to act on this one.

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Broad should be banned to the same level as Ramdin .Is there any case for cheat appeal?If chris says its against the spirit then it seems he hass to first teach it to his son!!

  • Jurie on July 13, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    I think Siddle's comments about use of DRS say it all - Aus have the wrong attitude, it's not a tactic of hope, it's a tactic of correction, it's to fix something, not to create something. South Africa initially used it incorrectly and very poorly, Aus have to learn to use it properly

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    at the end of the day.... there IS a cricket god!!!

    you receive a bad decision today....

    your opponent gets it tomorrow!

    it all balances out...

    some kind of weird karma within the sport.

    i hate bad decisions as much as the next guy... but a good team will look past it... and worry about it on day 6 of the test. because a bad decision.. is not the same as a fat lady singing!!

  • Rod on July 13, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    I have a rather tentative idea about the DRS rules. It wouldn't have made a difference to the Broad or Trott situations, but it might be more logical overall.

    When the umpire gives a batsman out, it's pretty final--no second chance. So how about reviewing every time the on-field umpire gives a batsman out. In probably 75% of cases, this would not take any extra time at all, because it's clear cut. The fielding side would still get to review two not-out decisions per innings, which they would be well advised to use wisely. The only drawback I can see is umpires might be inclined to get lazy and always give it out when in doubt, knowing that it would be reviewed anyway.

  • Anupam on July 13, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Nothing wrong with Broad. Its a fault of umpiring simple. Broad walk or not it does't matter just appeal if umpire gave wrong decision batsman is lucky .

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