Chris Gaffaney also failed to notice a very obvious no-ball call, the ball before Mitchell Starc dismissed Chris Gayle. © AFP
West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite lashed out at the umpiring blunders during his team’s loss to Australia in Nottingham on Thursday (June 6) referring to them as “frustrating” and revealing they had “sent ripples through the dressing-room”. He also hinted that the West Indies had been getting a raw deal from umpires over the last few years, with more decisions going against them than other teams.
“I just think I’d like that for West Indies, we don’t have to use all our reviews and that some of the other teams get a chance to use theirs because every time we get hit on our pad the finger goes up. When we hit the opposition on their pad, the finger stays down. So we have to use our reviews and it’s always missing and then we have to use our reviews when we’re batting as well and it’s always clipping,” said Brathwaite, looking visibly upset minutes after West Indies had failed to chased down a total of 289 at Trent Bridge, falling 15 runs short.
Both on-field umpires, Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, ended up getting two decisions overturned per head with the New Zealand official also failing to notice a very obvious no-ball call, the ball before Mitchell Starc dismissed Chris Gayle. The veteran opener in fact was given out thrice, and reviewed all three decisions, the first two clearly finding umpire Gaffaney in the wrong. The first was a caught-behind decision, where replays showed the ball scraping past the off-stump and missing the bat en route to Alex Carey’s gloves. Then came a full-toss that smashed into Gayle’s heel, with the impact clearly outside leg-stump. The lbw call against Gayle in the next over stayed with the ball shown clipping the leg-stump, but a replay of the previous delivery showed Starc’s front-foot having landed quite a few inches outside the popping crease, and meant Gayle had got out to a potential free-hit delivery.
“I don’t know if I’ll be fined for saying it but I just think that the umpiring was a bit frustrating. Even when we were bowling we thought a few balls close to head height were called wides. And obviously three decisions in one over as far as I can remember being dodgy, it was frustrating and sent ripples through the dressing room. To lose Chris in a chase of 280, who can probably get 180 of them himself obviously, broke the start that we wanted to have. But the umpires do their job, they try to do it to the best of their ability, we as players go out to do our job as well, so there was no confrontation between the players and the umpires. Whatever is to be done will be done, whatever is to be seen will be seen,” said Brathwaite. Even Starc sounded surprised at how he got away without the no-ball call saying, “I didn’t know I was over there, but someone told me about five minutes ago that I was a fair way over. Got away with that one, fortunately.”
Later in the innings, Gaffaney’s Sri Lankan colleague adjudged West Indian skipper Jason Holder lbw on two occasions, which were both reviewed. Replays showed the first delivery pitching clearly outside leg-stump and the other missing leg-stump post impact. Unlike Brathwaite, Holder played down the controversy diplomatically, though he couldn’t resist a sheepish smile while doing so.
“I saw it on the screen in the dressing room, and I just laughed, man. I couldn’t believe it. But again, I guess things didn’t go our way today. I think I’ll just say I just found ourselves a bit unlucky to be on the other end of all the decisions. I guess honest mistakes from the umpires, I don’t want to get into the officiating part, but it’s just ironic. I don’t even know what to say about it, but it is a funny situation where all of them went against us, and then we had to review them, but I guess that’s part of the game again,” he said.
Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding too was scathing in his criticism over the umpiring, calling it “atrocious” and also called them “weak” for being intimidated by the incessant appealing from the bowlers.
Brathwaite, however, refrained from admitting that the contentious umpiring had cost his team the match, insisting that they hadn’t delivered the kind of performance required from the team after the loss of the Gayle wicket. When asked then if the height of the West Indian batsmen might have had anything to do with some of the lbw decisions going against them, Brathwaite said, “I bat in normal size pads. I don’t know if the height has a factor but again, I’m not a technology person and I think the DRS has done a lot for the game so for me to say here that ‘DRS is bad’, I would stop short of saying that. But I just – in my previous statement – made a mention as to what I have observed in the past few years representing the West Indies.”
Sourced from © Cricbuzz