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Umpires step in to curtail England, Pakistan ball-roughing tactics

Both sides scrutinised for tactic of throwing ball in on the bounce to obtain reverse swing

Getty Images

Getty Images

Pakistan and England were both spoken to by the umpires at Trent Bridge for the frequency with which their fielders threw the ball in on the bounce from the outfield, a tactic commonly used by sides to get the ball into shape for reverse swing.
Though reverse did not have any noticeable or decisive impact in either innings, both sides were reminded by the umpires to ensure that their throws from the outfield came in, at most, on one bounce.
Jos Buttler seemed to inspect the ball just after he was dismissed for 103, but England captain Eoin Morgan revealed later that much the same had gone on in both innings.
"There were discussions throughout the whole of the two innings," he said. "The umpires came to me, mid-innings, and seemed to think that we were throwing the ball in on the bounce too much, or it was being over-exaggerated.
"They emphasised it would be the same for both. It was really about us then... the conversations that were stopping the game were that Pakistan were doing the same thing. Jos was just intrigued to see the ball. When the ball is hit against the LED advertising boards it does scuff it up quite a lot so he was just interested to see if one side was tougher than the other, natural or unnatural."
Soon after having been spoken to when Pakistan were in the field, at one stage Mohammad Hafeez made a deliberate show of gathering the ball and running right up to the umpire to hand it over to him.
Hafeez said Pakistan were warned of the threat of a penalty if they continued throwing the ball in on more than one bounce.
"It's their job and they were doing their job," Hafeez said. "A couple of incidents for both sides where the throw didn't come in one bounce, but on two or three bounces. We got a warning after 20 overs that if we threw in on two bounces, we would get a penalty, so I made a point of running in to hand them the ball. You don't want to have to do it but they were just doing their job and they did it right."
Joe Root, who made a hundred alongside Buttler, refused to be drawn on the subject. "I'm not going to get involved or I'll only get myself in trouble."

Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo