Hairy Decision 2 - Law 21.3a,b

Law 21.3a,b

(a) A match shall be lost by a side which either (i) concedes defeat or (ii) in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play and the umpires shall award the match to the other side.

(b) If an umpire considers that an action by any player or players might constitute a refusal by either side to play then the umpires together shall ascertain the cause of the action. If they then decide together that this action does constitute a refusal to play by one side, they shall so inform the captain of that side. If the captain persists in the action the umpires shall award the match in accordance with (a)(ii) above.


Darrell Hair would again say that he was following the rule book. But the problem here is that Pakistan players did eventually come out onto the field and showed enough willingness to get on with the game (and England at no point refused to play). It was Mr. Hair who claimed that he had already awarded the match to England and that he cannot overturn his decision. This is where ICC (read Mr. procter) failed miserably. Now how hard is it to over-ride a decision. When a batsman can be recalled onto the field (understand that the batsman should not have crossed the boundary rope) by the fielding captain after being adjudged out by the umpire, why can't the match referee recall the whole Pakistan team after the umpire had made his own mind about the forfeiture.

As Tim de Lisle aptly points it out in his article, all that happened on that afternoon shouldn't have led to the way the match ended in the end - the show must have gone on.
Sport increasingly recognises that it is part of the entertainment world, and the first rule of entertainment is that the show must go on. The International Cricket Council exists to stage cricket matches. Here, it ended up calling one off when nearly all parties were willing to get on with it. Something went seriously wrong.

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Blogger Stu 5:17 PM

...did eventually come out to play... that's the point really, too little, too late. "You can't have your cake and eat it too", you play or you forfeit - their bluff was called by a gutsy man. Allowing protests like that to continue, is a very slippery slope. We'll only see more of them, if teams are allowed to get away with protesting everything that goes wrong. The 5 runs + new ball penalty, turned into an entire Test Match.    



Blogger vishnupavan 12:10 PM

agree with the slippery slope part.. but if Procter and Co. spent time convincing the Pakistan team to return to the ground, then they should have been able to convince Hair too to do the same.. If the players refuse to play, they have to forfeit the game.. if the umpire refuses to officiate, should he forfeit his panel status?    



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