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

Australia bite tongues over Broad decision

Daniel Brettig and George Dobell at Trent Bridge

July 12, 2013

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Australia plead to Aleem Dar to give Stuart Broad out after a thick edge, England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day, July 12, 2013
Australia couldn't believe it when Stuart Broad was given not out © Getty Images

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.

'I don't see bowlers asking you back'

  • "The review system was brought in to get rid of the howler, I don't see why umpire Dar couldn't have had someone is his ear saying you've got that one wrong let's just overturn that quickly. This has been a terrific game but I think a lot will be talked about that incident, which is sad." - Michael Vaughan
  • "DRS was brought in to correct obviously wrong decisions and that is how captains should use it. Alastair Cook does just that, he is very sparing with it, and hopefully Michael Clarke does the same after this. To me, it has to be the umpire [fault]. A player is allowed to stand his ground. If Australia had one appeal left, Broad would have walked. The fact there was no referral left, he left it up to the umpire." - Glenn McGrath

  • "The rules say that it's 'in the opinion of the umpire' so it's above things like 'The Spirit of the Game'. I don't see bowlers asking you back when the ball is sliding down leg. There is no debate, it's quite simple. The Australians I have played with and have watched, with the exception of Adam Gilchrist, believe in standing and it's up to the umpire to give you out - there shouldn't be a morale argument. They should be upset, disappointed and angered by the umpires. If they keep making poor decisions, it's up to the ICC to do something about it." - Geoff Boycott

  • "He (Dar) always gets the crucial decisions wrong & always has, that's why he's not a great umpire! We all make mistakes & it's a very tough job being an umpire, but when Dar continually makes crucial mistakes why does he keep getting a gig?" - Shane Warne on Twitter

"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

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Posted by SouthPaw 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!

Posted by   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 ??

Posted by H_Z_O 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.

Posted by vpdw 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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!!

Posted by Kirstenfan 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

Posted by   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!!

Posted by RodStark 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.

Posted by AKS286 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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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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