Australia's captain Steven Smith has levelled heavy criticism about how Mitchell Marsh came to be given out at a pivotal moment of the deciding Chappell-Hadlee Trophy match in Hamilton. His opposite number Brendon McCullum, however, disputed the view that there had been no appeal to force an umpires' referral.
Marsh's squeezed stroke off the bat and boot rebounded to the bowler, Matt Henry, who claimed the catch and raised his hand while turning towards the umpire Ian Gould. After some delay, during which time the big screen at Seddon Park showed a replay that indicated Marsh was likely to be out, Gould and the other on-field umpire, Derek Walker, agreed to refer the decision.
Smith, the acting coach, Michael Di Venuto, and the team manager, Gavin Dovey, confronted the match referee Chris Broad after the match, and were told that neither umpire had heard an appeal initially. After that discussion, Smith contended that the episode had been handled "pretty poorly", even though he admitted the right decision was made.
"I don't think decisions should be made on the big screen, I don't think that's right for the game. I think better processes need to be put in place," Smith said. "We've got a review system in place. You have 15 seconds to make your decision and I don't think that was necessary for that to come up in that point in time.
"Neither of the umpires heard an appeal so the game went on. Well it was supposed to go on. It was shown on the big screen that there was a half-appeal so they went upstairs. I was pretty disappointed with the whole process .. it was handled pretty poorly. New Zealand players genuinely believed it wasn't out and, not until they saw it on the screen, did they change their mind.
"The right decision was made - he was out, there's no doubt about that. But if I get hit on the pad next time and it's missing leg, do I stand there and wait until it shows that up on the big screen?"
For his part, McCullum disagreed that there had been no appeal, but admitted to expressing a further opinion to the umpires that the right decision needed to be made despite the circumstances.
"I saw a couple of the guys appeal," McCullum said. "The right decision was made but the process was far from ideal. It's disappointing from the Australian point of view. When it did come up on the screen, which is not ideal, I yelled out 'what the ... is going on'. The only thing I said was the right decision has to be made."
It is not the first time Australia and New Zealand have been embroiled in a television umpiring controversy. During the Adelaide Test, Nathan Lyon was given not out after a lengthy review in which the third umpire Nigel Llong misinterpreted the evidence in front of him. The decision turned out to be pivotal to the outcome of the match, and New Zealand sought clarification from the ICC in its aftermath.