England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 5th day August 25, 2013

ECB chairman calls for light ruling change

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Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, has branded the end of the Investec Ashes series at The Oval "totally unsatisfactory" and called upon the ICC chief executive, David Richardson, to change the regulations regarding bad light at the earliest opportunity.

A full house crowd booed the umpires after they led the players from the pitch with England requiring 21 more runs from the final four overs of the match.

It was a disappointing end to a dramatic final day that had seen 447 runs scored, 17 wickets taken and Kevin Pietersen score the fastest half-century by an England player in Ashes history after a bold declaration from Australia and a sustained run-chase from England.

Set 227 to win in 44 overs, England appeared to be on the brink of the win that would have secured a record-breaking 4-0 victory - a score line they have never achieved in an Ashes series in England - before the umpires intervened.

It left Clarke fuming. While he understood that the umpires had little choice but to end play - the ICC playing regulations state that they are obliged to take the players from the field once the light has dropped to the level it had been when deemed unfit for play earlier in the match - he felt there should be some flexibility to respect the requirements of a spectator sport.

"It's totally unsatisfactory the way the game ended," Clarke said. "The rules are clearly unacceptable and I expect David Richardson to change it at the next ICC chief executives' meeting."

Tempers also become frayed on the pitch. With Australia sensing that the game was slipping away from them and their fielders struggling to pick-up the ball, captain Michael Clarke brought his concerns to the attention of the umpires.

When the umpires attempted to take light meter readings out of sight of Clarke, Aleem Dar seemed to gently push the Australian captain away. It left Clarke unimpressed.

"I remember Aleem touching me and I asked him politely to not touch me because if I touched him I'd be suspended for three games," Michael Clarke said. "That's all I can really remember. I just know a player is not allowed to touch an umpire. But for me personally, I have absolutely no issue with it at all."

The umpires took the players off the pitch on the second day of the game due to bad light. At the time they took a reading on their light meters which, in accordance with ICC regulations, set a precedent for the rest of the game. Whether the light on either day could be considered to have suggested an "obvious and foreseeable risk to the safety of any player or umpire, so that it would be unreasonable or dangerous for play to take place", as the regulations currently state, is debatable.

Michael Clarke, at least, felt the light was considerably worse by the end of day five than it had been at the end of day two. He also felt it was worse than when the umpires had led the players from the pitch in Manchester when Australia were in the dominant position.

"There was no comparison," Clarke said. "I don't think I'm going to get into the numbers but I remember seeing the reading when I got told we had to go off in Manchester and I stood in the middle of the wicket today and there was a big difference. But for us, we just have to go on the umpire's call. If they think it's safe to keep playing then we keep playing.

"I just asked the question: why we haven't got the meter out here? It took a few overs to get it out. Just going on what's happened in the past through this Test series, you know around that time is generally when it's getting close to when the umpires have consistently taken us off the field."

Alastair Cook, the England captain, also expressed his empathy with the umpires. While he was naturally disappointed to be denied a memorable win, he admitted it has become "pretty dark". He also credited Australia for an enterprising declaration that had set-up a highly entertaining final day of the series.

"It would have been nice to finish the game off," Cook said. "But rules are there for a reason. It was pretty dark and the umpires have strict guidelines. If the boot had been on the other foot, we would have asked the same questions as the Australians.

"Of course we understand the frustration. It's a shame for an amazing crowd. But you can also see the other side of it. We understand the rules and regulations. The umpires have to take emotion out of the game and do their job. They have to be consistently fair to both sides.

"It is disappointing to be sitting here when we felt we could have scored those runs in the final four overs, but I understand the umpires' decision."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 28, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    When the umpires have been given the authority to call play off. It doesnt matter if its a capacity crowd, will the crowd help the player recover from the injury if one does get injured. The umpires have been given this right by the ICC - they are to be targeted with this aggression. Aleem Dar is the best umpire in the world show some respect English fans.

  • H_Z_O on August 27, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    @MrCricketFan1981 on (August 26, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

    "Michael Clarke took the risk and initiative to give a 5/over RR to get a victory. Even then, the English didn't want to risk anything and was going at 5/over, the required rate."

    Wrong on both counts. Australia went at a shade under 5 an over (4.82 to be exact) while England went at a shade over (5.15). Australia scored 111-6 at that run-rate, England scored 206-5. So we scored more runs and lost less wickets. It's far easier to score at 5 an over for 23 overs than 40 overs. If they didn't want to risk it, Cook would've gone at 3 an over.

    I'm not saying Clarke didn't take risks, but to pretend England didn't is just not true. Clarke had everything to gain (Australia haven't completed an Ashes series without a single win since the 70s) and a lot less to lose. England won the series, and have now gone unbeaten against Australia in 7 Tests.

    England didn't deserve to win, though, and Giles Clarke is wrong to moan about the light.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 27, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    I don't think English fans have the right to complain especially when their team holds the record for bowling close to 11 overs in an hour during one of the tests this series. That included Swann in one of his spells. Had Australia been chasing, England would have done exactly the same thing. So let's not call each other names here and just get on with better things in life. Besides, I strongly oppose the players having any say in staying or walking away. These things are better left with the umpires and officials. I SALUTE Aleem Dar and Dharmasena for being consistent with their approach. Too bad England, a victory for you was not meant to be. Still you won 3-0 and that's as good as it gets.

  • JFAB on August 27, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    Giles Clarke is kidding. He did not protest the lack of spectator satisfaction when England bowled 11 overs in an hour (including some spin) or batted as they did or deliberately prepared flat pitches. He says it should be changed but offers no solution (except he implies to stay on despite the rules if it is exciting). You can't take a team off when they are doing well then demand they stay on in same or worse conditions later. More importantly - it was darker than Old Trafford and probably darker than when they went off on Day 2 but the umpires did not even have the light meters out there!! Were they hoping to let it slide by and not make the call. Clarke (Michael, not Giles!) was then put in the position of villain by having to ask about it, including where the meters were. He was badly let down by the officials here. The truth of the numbers needs to come out. I suspect the first reading should have been instigated by the umpires some 10-15 minutes before Clarke forced their hand.

  • Williston on August 26, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Why not just improve the lights? If we can play day/night matches then evening poor light should not be a problem. However, if it is, just ramp up e power of the lights. Good that Clarke declared, a worthy decision, however, it was unworthy that light ruled the day. ICC, sort it out!!

  • on August 26, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    So, Giles Clarke, what should they do? Play in the dark? The Australian Captain made a daring declaration that provided massive entertainment for everyone after Cook stifled the match... England had already won the Ashes... and you're still not satisfied? Pathetic.

  • Viswasam on August 26, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    There are more issues with light and rain in England than in any other country so not sure what Giles is on about. Like Pakistan playing in the UAE, Giles may want to consider moving some tests to Spain so that England can get the results they want when they want it.

  • PACERONE on August 26, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    If all the administration and actions are left to the ECB and their players then test cricket will soon die.They run to the umpires room complaining if a decision is made against them.they want to change the rules about light.We the spectators should have a say.Bring back the old no ball rule,bowl as many bouncers per over and penalize for slow over rate and slow batting.

  • MrCricketFan1981 on August 26, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Mr. Clarke, Giles ofcourse, Test cricket is a spectator sport not just on the fifth day but also on the previous 4 days of the game. Why did England walk off on the second day, it wasn't as if they were going to loose the series if they lost this match. Lets just look at the fifth day, Michael Clarke took the risk and initiative to give a 5/over RR to get a victory. Even then, the English didn't want to risk anything and was going at 5/over, the required rate. If the English really wanted to win, they should have batted better then required run rate and shouldn't have needed the last 4 overs. There was no risk and initiative taken from the English and they certainly didn't deserve to win this match atleast. This is a neutral view from an Indian guy.

  • Derdeman on August 26, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @ Insult_2_Injury on (August 26, 2013, 5:05 GMT):

    Just imagine the howls of protest if we follow your suggestion and appoint non neutral umpires and two Aussie umps made the same decision that the two neutrals made last night. Another good reason for sticking to non aligned umpires.

    Then just a general comment: a drawn match is one of the idiosyncrasies that makes the game so fascinating. If you want a result, go watch limited overs cricket.

  • on August 28, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    When the umpires have been given the authority to call play off. It doesnt matter if its a capacity crowd, will the crowd help the player recover from the injury if one does get injured. The umpires have been given this right by the ICC - they are to be targeted with this aggression. Aleem Dar is the best umpire in the world show some respect English fans.

  • H_Z_O on August 27, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    @MrCricketFan1981 on (August 26, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

    "Michael Clarke took the risk and initiative to give a 5/over RR to get a victory. Even then, the English didn't want to risk anything and was going at 5/over, the required rate."

    Wrong on both counts. Australia went at a shade under 5 an over (4.82 to be exact) while England went at a shade over (5.15). Australia scored 111-6 at that run-rate, England scored 206-5. So we scored more runs and lost less wickets. It's far easier to score at 5 an over for 23 overs than 40 overs. If they didn't want to risk it, Cook would've gone at 3 an over.

    I'm not saying Clarke didn't take risks, but to pretend England didn't is just not true. Clarke had everything to gain (Australia haven't completed an Ashes series without a single win since the 70s) and a lot less to lose. England won the series, and have now gone unbeaten against Australia in 7 Tests.

    England didn't deserve to win, though, and Giles Clarke is wrong to moan about the light.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 27, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    I don't think English fans have the right to complain especially when their team holds the record for bowling close to 11 overs in an hour during one of the tests this series. That included Swann in one of his spells. Had Australia been chasing, England would have done exactly the same thing. So let's not call each other names here and just get on with better things in life. Besides, I strongly oppose the players having any say in staying or walking away. These things are better left with the umpires and officials. I SALUTE Aleem Dar and Dharmasena for being consistent with their approach. Too bad England, a victory for you was not meant to be. Still you won 3-0 and that's as good as it gets.

  • JFAB on August 27, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    Giles Clarke is kidding. He did not protest the lack of spectator satisfaction when England bowled 11 overs in an hour (including some spin) or batted as they did or deliberately prepared flat pitches. He says it should be changed but offers no solution (except he implies to stay on despite the rules if it is exciting). You can't take a team off when they are doing well then demand they stay on in same or worse conditions later. More importantly - it was darker than Old Trafford and probably darker than when they went off on Day 2 but the umpires did not even have the light meters out there!! Were they hoping to let it slide by and not make the call. Clarke (Michael, not Giles!) was then put in the position of villain by having to ask about it, including where the meters were. He was badly let down by the officials here. The truth of the numbers needs to come out. I suspect the first reading should have been instigated by the umpires some 10-15 minutes before Clarke forced their hand.

  • Williston on August 26, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Why not just improve the lights? If we can play day/night matches then evening poor light should not be a problem. However, if it is, just ramp up e power of the lights. Good that Clarke declared, a worthy decision, however, it was unworthy that light ruled the day. ICC, sort it out!!

  • on August 26, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    So, Giles Clarke, what should they do? Play in the dark? The Australian Captain made a daring declaration that provided massive entertainment for everyone after Cook stifled the match... England had already won the Ashes... and you're still not satisfied? Pathetic.

  • Viswasam on August 26, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    There are more issues with light and rain in England than in any other country so not sure what Giles is on about. Like Pakistan playing in the UAE, Giles may want to consider moving some tests to Spain so that England can get the results they want when they want it.

  • PACERONE on August 26, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    If all the administration and actions are left to the ECB and their players then test cricket will soon die.They run to the umpires room complaining if a decision is made against them.they want to change the rules about light.We the spectators should have a say.Bring back the old no ball rule,bowl as many bouncers per over and penalize for slow over rate and slow batting.

  • MrCricketFan1981 on August 26, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Mr. Clarke, Giles ofcourse, Test cricket is a spectator sport not just on the fifth day but also on the previous 4 days of the game. Why did England walk off on the second day, it wasn't as if they were going to loose the series if they lost this match. Lets just look at the fifth day, Michael Clarke took the risk and initiative to give a 5/over RR to get a victory. Even then, the English didn't want to risk anything and was going at 5/over, the required rate. If the English really wanted to win, they should have batted better then required run rate and shouldn't have needed the last 4 overs. There was no risk and initiative taken from the English and they certainly didn't deserve to win this match atleast. This is a neutral view from an Indian guy.

  • Derdeman on August 26, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @ Insult_2_Injury on (August 26, 2013, 5:05 GMT):

    Just imagine the howls of protest if we follow your suggestion and appoint non neutral umpires and two Aussie umps made the same decision that the two neutrals made last night. Another good reason for sticking to non aligned umpires.

    Then just a general comment: a drawn match is one of the idiosyncrasies that makes the game so fascinating. If you want a result, go watch limited overs cricket.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 26, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    It's sad that the climax to one of the fastest and most exciting run chases ever in the history of cricket was ruined by so much moaning by an opposition captain and fielders staring straight into the face of yet another defeat. There was a point yesterday when the gap between each ball being bowled seemed to be minutes. And yet the umpires didn't say a thing and went straight off as soon as Clarke started whinging.

  • on August 26, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Neil Dyer, AUSinCH, picket23 --- Thanks for correcting me.

  • H_Z_O on August 26, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Seems there's plenty of hypocrisy to go around. After Australia criticised Cook for a negative mindset, Clarke then adopts the same when faced with certain defeat.

    And now, having benefitted from the light rules previously in this series, Giles only thinks the light ruling needs to be changed when it prevents England winning (and we only got a chance to win because the captains of both sides decided to set one up, Clarke by declaring and Cook by chasing it).

    Sour grapes all around, it seems.

  • on August 26, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Firstly, when they went off on day 2 I was in sunglasses, the sun had popped behind a building but there were no clouds. On day 5 it was noticeably darker, and later as the sun had come out from behind the building but was in cloud. For those asking, the floodlights were on. The ultimate problem, however, is the over rates; if they'd gone at 15 an hour they would have been done by 7, if the Aussies had done that they would have certainly been done by 7:30. I was at a championship match earlier in the season where the sides were slowing things down to make sure they didn't bowl more than 96 overs in the 6 hours so its eminently possible. One option would be to say that 450 overs have to be bowled in a Test, barring losses for rain. If they don't get them done they have to come back for another day. Final thought, Aleem Dar's response to the crowd at the presentation was great.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 26, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Where was this English administrator when the umpires walked off due to light when it favoured England?

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on August 26, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    The English sure have had their fair share of the luck this series, and they were lucky to win 3-0. What a damning scoreline for a team heralded as world beaters. Clarke has been fantastic as captain: First winning against cricket teams then claiming it's something otherwise, then the 4-0 blip in India, a tough tour where England have won how many times? His tenure surely must go go on for a long time.

  • on August 26, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    LMAO!! Cry me river!! now ECB want to change in rule cos they were so close to a win??? Aussies were much better team and much better led by Clarke than Cook and England team apart from 2nd test and one session in the 4th test which they lost they have given Eng a tough time.So many aspects of this series whr Aus cud have won the series or atleast drawn the series . Eng wudnt complain abt the rain which saved them, bad light , the time wasting tactics of English team (1st test last session and all through out series) and the awesome decision of Broad not walking .. so take it with a pinch of salt..n stop Crying out loud. Had it been Eng batting second they wud have batted whole day as they did in the Series against India.Kudos to Clarke , he is a brave captain...compared to his counterpart in this series by a long way.

  • Thangaraja. on August 26, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Many readers got confused Giles clarke with Michael.. Hilarious comments..

  • farkin on August 26, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    bahaha live with it . get the English players to speed up batting and fielding that way England would have won the test bahaha

  • OldAdam on August 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    My first thought was that we should return to the days when the light was offered to the batsmen but, on second thoughts, that wouldn't be fair either. Imagine if the score were 170 for 9 with 4 overs to go. Instead, how about the light meter determining the point at which the ball is changed from red to pink (and back again if things improve)? That might also reduce time-wasting if the players know that a full 90 overs will be played regardless. And it would allow for up to 20 (say) additional overs a day to make up for rain breaks.

  • Not_Another_Keybord_Expert on August 26, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @geoffry plumridge the difference was the umpires set the precedent for bad light at Manchester and therefor play should have been stopped earlier at the oval because it was much darker ,so no clarke's not a hypocrite.

  • on August 26, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    I agree with ECB Chairman. It should continue under artificial light in this conditions. And ICC should chnge the regulation at least last few overs at day 5.

  • Paul_JT on August 26, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Should not overlook the amount of time wasting by both teams during the series, though credit to Clarke for his declaration. Ideally the umpires should have been confident enough to stay out and not check the light meter, and that the ICC would have backed them in the event Australia formally complained. Any "danger" to the players was negligible, yet it triumphed over the paying spectator. That is more than "unreasonable".

  • Not_Another_Keybord_Expert on August 26, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Weren't these same guys (ECB) backslapping each other for such a great job when play got stopped for bad light in the third test?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 26, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    The Aussies sure have had their fair share of the luck this series, and they still lost 3-0. What a damning scoreline. Clarke has failed as captain: First winning against minnow teams then claiming it's something otherwise, then the 4-0 drubbing in India, now 3-0 in England. His tenure surely can't go on for long with these results.

  • on August 26, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    I think it funny that MC was fuming when the umpires called the light in Manchester, and yet was basically trying to drag the umpires off when England were clearly going to win the test match. What a hypocrite.

  • on August 26, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Doesnt the oval have flood lights? it seems every ground has them now. If the weather is good and only the light is a problem they should switch on the lights and continue!

  • Ubaidaleem on August 26, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    I think Empires, othewise condemned throughout the series, should be praised here. It was a difficult decision to take under humongous pressure from British Crowd. But they did what should have been done. It was a fantastic day of test cricket.

  • on August 26, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    So wait, why weren't the ECB calling for rule changes at Old Trafford?

  • on August 26, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Ravi Venkatesh Venkataraman Think you may have the wrong Clarke. Giles, not Michael!

  • nrms on August 26, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @Brownly Point taken! Too many Clarkes and not enough early morning coffee :)

  • AUSinCH on August 26, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    @Ravi Venkatesh Venkataraman, there are two Clarkes in this story -- Giles and Michael. Please try to keep up.

  • picket23 on August 26, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    @Ravi - Giles Clarke was fuming at the decision to go off. Not Michael Clarke.

  • on August 26, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    I reckon, its Time now, that the ICC makes, at least one Test of every future Test Series, for every Test Playing Nation, Mandatory to be played under lights, a Day and Night Test to be precise. Once that gets underway on a regular basis, then if any Test, which is fairly poised to produce results, can be continued to be played under lights, as the players would get acclimatised and comfortable to play Test Matches under lights. ODIs and T20s have evolved, and are being played under lights on a regular basis, so why not even Tests. And if right of DRS has been given to Players to Review the Umpire's Decision, then I think the batsmen and the Captain on should have all right to see what readings the light meter is showing, the umpires should share the same with the onfield players, I see nothing wrong in this, so that both the teams assured.

  • warnerbasher on August 26, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Unsatisfactory become the Poms were going to win. He was quiet when the Poms were 3 for 32 at Manchester when they came off for light. Seriously a bit of balance wouldn't go astray. Clarke set the game up so the spectators have him to thank for the great days cricket. The decision was left in the hands of the umpires as it should be. Perhaps if England didn't bowl at 11 overs per hour on day 2 there may have been time for them to snatch a result.

  • heathrf1974 on August 26, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    It was the correct decision, the light was poor. When they ended earlier on a day at Old Trafford the light was much better.

  • on August 26, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Why was Clarke fuming and what is he trying to do? Was Clarke happy that the light was fading and the game ended in a draw or the series going on to end 4-0. In that case, the Australian public and the press would have given him a rousing reception - BOOED at Brisbane in the return Ashes.

  • heathrf1974 on August 26, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    It was the correct decision, the light was poor. When they ended earlier on a day at Old Trafford the light was much better.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 26, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    It shouldn't be up to the umpires. If the batting side think it is too hard to bat in, they should have the option of going off. Maybe even if the bowling side are having trouble fielding the ball, then perhaps they should have the option. But when both sides want to stay out there, as was the case here, it is absurd to go off. 4 more overs would have taken all of 16 minutes and then we would have had a result. How absolutely absurd!

  • on August 26, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    Playing regulations should be decided by the teams playing the Series and not the ICC. The ICC should be disbanded..England ,Aus & SA don't need 'em.

  • AltafPatel on August 26, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Cook made fair statement without favoring team or blaming umpires in direct or indirect way. He put good example as a captain and hope Clarke learn from him.

  • AltafPatel on August 26, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Clarke, "It's totally unsatisfactory the way the game ended.". Do you really want to continue the play ?!

  • sharidas on August 26, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    To me the modern day of cricket seems to be getting to be " a game for controversies". There is too much involvement of the public and media in everything. Things are really getting out of hand with the umpires being questioned all the time.To put it bluntly....there is no trust in any other umpires other than one's own.

  • Brownly on August 26, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    @nrms "Seems some hypocracy from Clarke... Badgering the umpires to take them off, but then saying the way the game ended was "totally unsatisfactory" and saying the rules are "unacceptable"."

    You seem a bit confused. The article is talking about Giles Clarke, the head of the ECB, not Michael Clarke.

  • on August 26, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    It is obvious that the umpires had no choice to comply, but there is no doubt that the rule is farcical. If we look back at the Champions Trophy final o 2004, we will remember that the offer to go off for bad light was refused by the batsmen, who had the momentum and won a thrilling finish.

  • grande-zaza on August 26, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    ECB and English supporters didn't seem to have any issues with the light regulations in the third test or when England were 3 down for few runs?

    Michale Clarkes courage and captaincy is what set the last test up. If taken the English approach Australia could of batted out their second innings and their fans and the English media could of continued bagging their team for their slow batting, negative captaincy, etc, etc. And this is when they are 3 to zip in an Ashes series. Pathetic really how quickly they turn on their own.

    However for mine all of this is nonsense because the fact doesn't change that the light meters should of been consulted a long time prior to the actual reading and they probably should of been off alot earlier if they had folllowed the precedents from the other tests and even in this test. It should never of reached the situation it did. An example of the inconsistent and poor umpiring which has been the only blemish in what was a terrific series.

  • AltafPatel on August 26, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Would they have shown similar approach in WC - 1992 semi against SA...!

  • Gupta.Ankur on August 26, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    For all people might have to say.........but England clearly didn't deserve to win. In their 1st innings they knowingly and cunningly batted slowly to deny australia a fair chance and converted it to a ugly....boring draw.

  • rameshkan on August 26, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    I agree with many who have opined that this is hypocritical on the part of the English. Cook and Prior admitted to the fact that they would have done the same had they been in the Australians' position. Prior said" what if we were 9 down?.." The ICC Ruling is proper that the umpires should decide the issue, not the players!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 26, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    @disco_bob, in terms of hypocrisy, isnt MC also being a hypocrite he codemned the umpires for going off at OT on the evening of the 4th day, put was pestering them to take england off when his plans backfired and england were 21 runs short of a victory.

    In the end it was probably going to be a fantastic finish, had they stayed on, though I think England missed trick by not altering the batting line up to bring in Broad/swann after KP was out with instructions to throw it.

  • nrms on August 26, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Seems some hypocracy from Clarke... Badgering the umpires to take them off, but then saying the way the game ended was "totally unsatisfactory" and saying the rules are "unacceptable".

    I have sympathy for the umpires in this situation. They have their hands tied by an ICC that lacks a lot of common sense. It's starting to feel more like the ICC have little respect for the game as a whole. The inconsistencies in the use of DRS, the attempt to change the result of the infamous ball tampering match, etc. Give some flexibility back to the umpires and let common sense prevail.

    Also, what ever happened to the trials of the pink ball?

  • TheOnlyEmperor on August 26, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    The English need to look at the way they play their cricket. Through the 2nd and 3rd day they were scoring at an atrocious 2 runs per over,with a full crowd in attendance and then people wonder why Test cricket gets killed. The low scoring rate was as deliberate as the poor over rate England use to delay proceedings when the Test match result isn't going their way. The booing by the English crowd was plain bad behaviour, booing the umpires, the Aussi captain, the Aussi players, etc. Warner has been booed right through this series, while Broad gets brazen support with prominent display of banners which state " Broadie, you will never walk alone"!

  • SlipsGlance on August 26, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    It was unfortunate but why 'totally unsatisfactory' to apply the regulations consistently on separate days of the same Test?

    If Watson had taken a hat-trick with the next three balls and then the umpires had pulled out the light meter, would the ECB chairman have been fuming and weeping about how sad it was for the spectators? Or would he have been roaring "OFF! OFF! OFF!" from the balcony?

    How would the chairman rewrite the regulations to suspend the normal provision for bad light if the home team is close to a win? How dark does it need to get? What about rain? If the home team is close and it starts bucketing, should we let the home fans enjoy the spectacle of players peering into stinging rain?

    Seeing that the light was fading, didn't England have the choice to pick up the pace at the risk of losing wickets, or the choice not to?

    By any chance is this why we don't let national board chairmen write playing regulations?

  • Insult_2_Injury on August 26, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Appropriate that the lack of professional umpiring should be the final act in a series which has highlighted how hopelessly out of form the International Umpiring Panel is. With 8 of the 12 umpires on the panel from Aus & Eng, these two team's games are going to constantly be hijacked by the same four. If the ICC persists in using DRS, then it is high time to allow Oz & English umpires to stand in the Ashes. It's pretty clear under the ICC DRS rules that the umpire's decision is no longer final, so 'mistakes' by umpires from the playing countries becomes less relevant. If the Indians can say they won't use DRS, then it's time Aus & Eng say they want better umpires.

    As for Cook saying it was an amazing crowd; I agree. I find it amazing a crowd can boo a Captain for 2 declarations and a tight finish, when he could've banked the match fee and dawdled at 2.6 an over for a day & a 1/2 of the 2 1/2 possible days like Cook's team did.

  • on August 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    This is completely hypocritical on the part of the ECB and the England team. In the third test on the fourth day when light ended play early and robbed Australia of batting and extending their lead, the English team were happy to waste time (i think that day may have had the worst over rate of the series) but when they are subjected to the umpires rulings they are willing to moan about it. Their own conduct on that day was absolutely disgraceful and no ECB official reprimanded the team for their behaviour, even the CA didn't call for over rates to be more rigidly enforced. Can't wait till series in Australia. England were outbowled throughout the series, they were outbatted (exception being Ian Bell) and outcaptained. They won because they won the key sessions. In Aus. with crowd behind them Australia will retain ashes.

  • disco_bob on August 26, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    What would the ECB position be if England were 10 down with 4 overs and 20 runs to get with Anderson and Kerrigan holding the fort. As if anyone needs to ask the question. England were whinging about how India was unfairly doctoring the pitches then they present the sort of dead wickets we have seen though out this series. Why doesn't the ECB make a statement about supporting fines for blatant time wasting and bowling 11 overs an hour.

  • disco_bob on August 26, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    How hypocritical is this. They didn't complain when it was to England's advantage last time to go off for bad light.

  • Winsome on August 26, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Giles Clarke wasn't forthcoming about the needs of spectators when the light ruling has worked in favour of England. In fact, there has been times when the English team has shown no interest in spectators having a good time at all.

  • harry93 on August 26, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    What breath-taking hypocrisy! This team played for a draw from the outset as indicated by slow over rates when bowling and a slow run rate when batting. Given a sporting chance of winning the match, which they didn't deserve, and suddenly a pitch that was so difficult to bat on and only provided 2 runs an over in their first innings was now allowing them to score at 5 runs an over in their second! Clarke had no problems with the laws when it saved them a loss why the problem now?Absolute disgrace!!!

  • AidanFX on August 26, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Judos for Clarke for wanting to play - given the odds were stacked in Eng's favour. Well done to both teams for having a crack. And really umpires could have allowed a miserly four overs since both captains were eager. And when I head Aleem had touched Clarke - I thought the same "they throw the book at players" - not acceptable.

  • on August 26, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    It is disappointing when bad light stops play at any time, but you have to consider the conditions. I also think that it cannot just be a question of safety, it has to also be a question of fairness. The batsman has the benefit of knowing the ball is coming his way, and having the white sight screen in the background. Fielders have neither. How can it be a true cricket result if a batsman can hit boundaries simply because fielders cannot see the ball until it is past them? Maybe they should be able to change to a suitably worn white ball once the light gets to a certain point, although we have all seen the problems with trying to keep them white.

  • IPLisdull on August 26, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    Giles Clarke would have more credibility if he was calling for changes to the light rule after the players were taken from the field in much lighter conditions when England were well behind at Old Trafford, only a few weeks ago.

    Ironic that England played for this result for 3 days, and yet seem upset when they achieved it.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on August 26, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Poor Australians. Now a days they are getting their own medicine which they used successfully in their prime time. Nothing to complaint.

  • crick_sucks on August 26, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Yeah change of rules is long due. Rules to include only players born in the country in the national side is most required. Else the poaching of players will continue and who knows to what lengths this will go. You may have 11 saffa players representing England. This is shameful and hurting local talent.

  • Unifex on August 26, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Where was Giles Clarke and his whingeing when going off suited England at Old Trafford? If you want to have any credibility on an issue, it's really best to mention it when it is in your favour, rather than the other way around.

  • popcorn on August 26, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Knowing England, and the way they delay the game - Cardiff 2009,Stuart Broad's shoelaces, stonewalling on the third day,resulting in spectators booing them and asking for a refund,if England were at the losing end, they would be the first to jump out of their skins and stop play for bad light.Sic. Credit to Michael Clarke. "You have to be prepared top lose, to win" says Shane Warne. Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Ian Botham exhibited their cowardice on commentary. They said, "We are 3 nil up. Down the shutters".Sic.

  • humdrum on August 26, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    I am sure the ECB chairman has his point,but right now,it sounds more like a grumpy reaction to the events rather than a desire to set things right.When things are going your way,you see the world in a different light.While on the subject of rules,can we please have uniform parameters for match referees,laid down by the ICC and clear penalties for them in the event of transgressions ? The same goes for the pathetic over rates seen in this series,which were a bad advertisement for test cricket.Or maybe it would be better to wait till a crisis is created and the situation blows up in the ICC's face.

  • on August 26, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    And unfortunately if the play had continued and England had lost another wicket or two they would be fuming at the umpires for not stopping the game, so ECB Chairman need not show any concern regards the rules. England are to blame themselves,being ahead 3-0, for playing the way they did on 3rd. day, being not at all interested in making a good game for the spectators, who lost out ! That the game ended in such a Fine way is all a result of Clarke's declaration and if he had continued to play like England did slowly on the 3rd. Day the spectators would not have witnessed such a Game of Cricket. Like Cook said that "If the boot had been on the other foot, we would have asked the same questions as the Australians." Series to England and Hats off to Clarke for such a nice gesture.

  • Slobberdog on August 26, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    So he cries foul when there's a missed opportunity by England, but not after the Manchester farce. Maybe while he's at it, he could petition the ICC, umpires and match referee to police the existing rules and the gamesmanship that lead to the appallingly low over rates earlier in the match.

  • Dashgar on August 26, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    The rule should be you keep playing till the end of the day regardless. Play in the gloom if you have to. It's just like how the ball will move around more in the morning, it's the same for both teams so stop complaining and get on with it. As for this match the bad light probably led to the fairest result. England had may no attempts to win the game until that last session. They didn't deserve a win.

  • Shaggy076 on August 26, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Twice the bad light situation has advantaged England, perhaps if Mr Clarke came out after these incidences it may have had more weight. You could argue he has only come out now as it didn't work for England. I do agree with him but no one from England has spoken up on the other occasions with more light than this situation and perhaps they should have.

  • on August 26, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    It seems very strange for Clarke to be complaining about Aleem Dar touching him - he shouldn't have been trying to see the metre reading in the first place! Sadly, rather than leave things to common sense, the ICC will probably have to create another regulation about how close any player can get to the umpires when they're looking at light meters.

  • Rahulbose on August 26, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    The issue is not with the rules, its with the umpires. They should not have walked off on the 2nd day and that would have added extra playing time and set a better light limit for day 5.

  • JanooGerman on August 26, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    Mr. Giles your frustration and the frustration of millions of viewers is understandable, however as the head of a cricketing board you must have signed the acceptance of this rule. Right?

    This time the rule went against you but if England were 8 or 9 down in the same situation and umpires have refused to offer lights, I am sure you would still be fuming and offloading your anger and frustration against them. Right?

    ICC cannot amend the rules to cater the needs of a particular situation. However, boards can agree on situations like the one in this match before the start of the series. Had ECB and CA agreed, in advance on completing the match under the floodlit in a situation like this to achieve a result, you would have shake hands with the umpires also, which unfortunately you avoided at the presentation ceremony.

    An excellent test match which could have become a memorable match had the result was achieved. For sure ICC or umpires cannot be blamed for not achieving the result.

  • yorkshirematt on August 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Would be interesting if Clarke (Giles that is) and other England team members and fans would say the same should the situation arise whereby Australia were chasing victory in the final Test at Sydney to win the series and the Ashes, with the light closing in (not that that would happen in Aus as they start earlier to try hopefully take bad light out of the equation)

  • millsy24 on August 26, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    Oh so you expect the light rule to be changed because it was your team this time Mr Clarke? You weren't worried about it too much in the 3rd test were you?

  • deano_411 on August 26, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Funny Giles didn't ask for a change in the rules after Manchester when Australia were pushing for the win and the light was worse at the Oval than it was at Manchester

  • on August 26, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    instead of asking ICC to change the rules which they recently changed to give all power to the umpire, the match in England should start before 11 am. I really dont know why they waste 2 hrs from 9-11. 11 am is just too late to start a test match. In all other countries, test cricket start from 9-10 am. If match had started at 9 today, i am sure we wouldnt have face any problem (considering there was no rain in the morning), and would have had full day's play.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    As is often the case, Giles Clarke is now challenging a rule that has been around for a long time simply because it inconvenienced his team. We've all known what the light rules are for a long time. If we don't think that they're satisfactory then why have we waited until now to do something about them? Whether or not the rules change, I'd like to apologise to the umpires for the way they were treated on the day. They were even a bit generous and kept the players out longer than they strictly should have. If it had been another day without a close game on the line then I'm sure they'd have gone off sooner. That said, the "safety" rule does seem a bit dubious. We've seen Broad cop a bouncer to the shoulder that prevented him from bowling for an innings and Watson cop one to the head, all in bright sunshine. I'm not sure that the batsmen are really in any great danger. The fielders and the umpires might be a bit more in harm's way though. If they'd stayed out and someone was hurt...

  • on August 25, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    I suggest Giles Clarke may be referred to by his full name at each instance, because it creates a confusion with Michael Clarke.

  • on August 25, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    It's 'meter' George, not 'metre' - unless they measure light by length these days.

  • peeeeet on August 25, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    So England were more than happy to head off on day two as it suited their defensive mindset, then they want the rules changed when it denied them victory on day five. He says there should be flexibility to respect the requirements of the spectator - well what spectator requirements were they meeting with their go-slow on every other day of this match with both bat and ball? I have no problems if they want to play that way, just don't come out acting holier than thou at the end of the match just because you fell short of a victory that only became apparent because one team was trying to make a game of it. Maybe a bit more pro-active cricket earlier in the match and they would have had the time on day five to win.

  • segga-express on August 25, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    I agree that the bad light rules are unsatisfactory. However, given light fades so quickly in late August, September, April and early May in England why don't Test matches begin at 10:30 in the periods when night falls earlier? I know that today it would have made no difference as the wet outfield prevented play this morning, but it would mean fewer instances of players going off in the last overs with no chance of returning. It would also bring start times in line with those for ODIs and seemed to work when it was the case 8 or so years ago.

  • TheMightyBradburn on August 25, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Perhaps if Giles Clarke thinks lost playing time is such a problem he might consider reviewing the ECB policy of refusing to allow play to start before 11am when there is time to be made up from previous days.

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  • TheMightyBradburn on August 25, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Perhaps if Giles Clarke thinks lost playing time is such a problem he might consider reviewing the ECB policy of refusing to allow play to start before 11am when there is time to be made up from previous days.

  • segga-express on August 25, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    I agree that the bad light rules are unsatisfactory. However, given light fades so quickly in late August, September, April and early May in England why don't Test matches begin at 10:30 in the periods when night falls earlier? I know that today it would have made no difference as the wet outfield prevented play this morning, but it would mean fewer instances of players going off in the last overs with no chance of returning. It would also bring start times in line with those for ODIs and seemed to work when it was the case 8 or so years ago.

  • peeeeet on August 25, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    So England were more than happy to head off on day two as it suited their defensive mindset, then they want the rules changed when it denied them victory on day five. He says there should be flexibility to respect the requirements of the spectator - well what spectator requirements were they meeting with their go-slow on every other day of this match with both bat and ball? I have no problems if they want to play that way, just don't come out acting holier than thou at the end of the match just because you fell short of a victory that only became apparent because one team was trying to make a game of it. Maybe a bit more pro-active cricket earlier in the match and they would have had the time on day five to win.

  • on August 25, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    It's 'meter' George, not 'metre' - unless they measure light by length these days.

  • on August 25, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    I suggest Giles Clarke may be referred to by his full name at each instance, because it creates a confusion with Michael Clarke.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    As is often the case, Giles Clarke is now challenging a rule that has been around for a long time simply because it inconvenienced his team. We've all known what the light rules are for a long time. If we don't think that they're satisfactory then why have we waited until now to do something about them? Whether or not the rules change, I'd like to apologise to the umpires for the way they were treated on the day. They were even a bit generous and kept the players out longer than they strictly should have. If it had been another day without a close game on the line then I'm sure they'd have gone off sooner. That said, the "safety" rule does seem a bit dubious. We've seen Broad cop a bouncer to the shoulder that prevented him from bowling for an innings and Watson cop one to the head, all in bright sunshine. I'm not sure that the batsmen are really in any great danger. The fielders and the umpires might be a bit more in harm's way though. If they'd stayed out and someone was hurt...

  • on August 26, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    instead of asking ICC to change the rules which they recently changed to give all power to the umpire, the match in England should start before 11 am. I really dont know why they waste 2 hrs from 9-11. 11 am is just too late to start a test match. In all other countries, test cricket start from 9-10 am. If match had started at 9 today, i am sure we wouldnt have face any problem (considering there was no rain in the morning), and would have had full day's play.

  • deano_411 on August 26, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Funny Giles didn't ask for a change in the rules after Manchester when Australia were pushing for the win and the light was worse at the Oval than it was at Manchester

  • millsy24 on August 26, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    Oh so you expect the light rule to be changed because it was your team this time Mr Clarke? You weren't worried about it too much in the 3rd test were you?

  • yorkshirematt on August 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Would be interesting if Clarke (Giles that is) and other England team members and fans would say the same should the situation arise whereby Australia were chasing victory in the final Test at Sydney to win the series and the Ashes, with the light closing in (not that that would happen in Aus as they start earlier to try hopefully take bad light out of the equation)