Thursday, July 25, 2024

‘When people don’t like a dismissal under Laws of Cricket, they cite Spirit of Cricket’: Simon Taufel

Former ICC Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel has slammed hypocrisy of many people criticising third umpire Marais Erasmus’ decision to give Jonny Bairstow out after wandering out of crease in second Ashes Test at Lord’s, stating that people cite Spirit of Cricket to support their view when they don’t like a dismissal under Laws of Cricket.

On day five’s play in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Bairstow was on 10 in the 52nd over when he ducked under a bouncer from Cameron Green and inadvertently walked out of his crease.

Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey immediately directed an underarm throw after catching the delivery, and jumped in joy after firing an accurate underarm throw towards the stumps. On-field umpires Ahsan Raza and Chris Gaffaney sent the decision upstairs, where TV umpire Marais Erasmus confirmed Bairstow’s dismissal.

The dismissal drew a furious reaction from the fans, who started to chant “same old Aussies, always cheating”, and booed the visitors for the rest of the day, with some players also facing verbal abuse from MCC members in the long room.

“Was Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal at Lords a breach of the Spirit of Cricket? This is a question I have been inundated with, so I thought it best to share my thoughts publicly by asking everyone a question or eight to consider… Have you seen any umpire tell a fielding side that the keeper standing back is not allowed to attempt a stumping?

Was there a complaint from anyone when Bairstow tried to stump Marnus exactly the same way in the first innings? What has Jonny Bairstow said about his dismissal? He has been very quiet. Why? My experience is when people don’t like a dismissal under the Laws of Cricket, they cite the Spirit of Cricket to support their view,” wrote Taufel in a post on LinkedIn.

Carey’s stumping of Bairstow has made huge headlines in the cricketing world even England and Australia now gear up for the third Ashes Test at Leeds from Thursday, with the respective nations Prime Ministers Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese defending their teams.

Taufel, who sits on the MCC Laws sub-committee, further wrote,”Which part of the codified Preamble (the Spirit of Cricket) was breached by the fielding side? What did the fielding side do in effecting a legitimate dismissal that unfairly impacted the ability of the batter in their attempt not to be dismissed? (Did they run into him or distract him or prevent him making good his ground?)”

“Should a batter be immune from dismissal as per the Laws by simply being negligent (and leaving his ground too early)? Did England retire Ben Duckett when they disagreed with the Starc catch decision as per the Laws and umpires’ decision?

The hypocrisy and lack of consistency from some people and groups is quite interesting and concerning for the future of our game. Maybe I am the odd one out here? The good news is that we are actively engaged with Test cricket, the best form of the game,” he concluded.

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