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Hussey should’ve been given out, not Sachin: Dhoni

SYDNEY: The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ bogey was raised again at the SCG during India’s defeat to Australia on Sunday. Twin incidents involvingDavid Hussey during Australia’s innings, and Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal when India batted, left Indian captain MS Dhoni fuming about getting the wrong end of the stick when it comes to ‘sportsmanship’.

Points Table 

The first incident, in the 24th over of Australia’s innings, saw batsman David Hussey blocking Suresh Raina’s throw to the wicketkeeper with his hand while short of his crease, prompting MS Dhoni to appeal for obstructing the field.

Two of the most experienced umpires in the game, Simon Taufel and Billy Bowden, referred it to third umpire Simon Fry instead, who refused to rule the batsman out even though new rules for obstructing the field – and laws for ‘handling the ball’ dismissals – were all in India’s favour. Dhoni, who later said the batsman was out, had an animated chat with the umpires on the field.

In the second instance when India batted, Sachin Tendulkar was declared run out by square-leg umpire Simon Taufel although pacer Brett Lee ran across the pitch, stood midway and appeared to block the batsman from making his ground. By that time, Warner ran in from point and hit the stumps with an underarm throw. An unhappy Tendulkar left the ground shaking his head. In this case, Tendulkar was out as per the laws of the game but shouldn’t the Aussies have recalled him, purely to ensure India were not cheated of a wicket?

In an earlier game, India had recalled Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne even though the batsman had been given out as per new rules because he wasn’t backing up at the non-striker’s end. India felt the dismissal wasn’t in the spirit of the game, a sentiment the Aussies did not share on Sunday.

Skipper Dhoni was livid at the post-match press-conference following India’s 87-run loss, saying, “It was unfair on Sachin as he had to make that extra yard. I think umpire Billy (Bowden) should have said something because he was in a position to see where the bowler was and what happened. It was very difficult for Simon (third umpire) to take a call for he had no clue which angle the batsman was running and where Lee actually stopped.”

Dhoni hinted that India’s players were discriminated against when it came to such incidents. He recalled a similar incident during the first game in Brisbane against Australia. “Vinay Kumar was bowling, we had a slip and we didn’t have a midwicket. The ball went towards point and Vinay crossed over to go towards midwicket to have a shy at the stumps but the umpire disallowed him. Vinay was doing something that’s well within the laws of the game.

“So I don’t think you can justify that (Brett) Lee was going towards the point fielder ( David Warner). I don’t think he had real business there and then he decided to stop right in front of Sachin and he had to take a longer way across Lee. That’s my reading about that particular run-out. Sachin was a bit disappointed with the bowler standing in his way.”

Aussie skipper Shane Watson, though, hinted he had no intention of recalling Tendulkar. “I thought Sachin was very disappointed with Gautam Gambhir for taking that run. Probably, there was no run in it. Actually, I felt he wasn’t happy with that because he kept looking back at Gambhir,” is how Watson got away with the answer.

About the Hussey incident, Dhoni’s take was equally emphatic. “To me, it was plain and simple. That was out. If you are protecting yourself it’s fine but not in this way. I was also a part of one such dismissal in Pakistan when Inzamam-ul Haq was defending something that was right on his face and yet he was given out. In this case, I think David was really lucky, he should have been given out. Don’t know why it wasn’t given.

Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell and Mark Taylor, commentating on TV, said Hussey was out while Ravi Shastri felt the umpires made the right decision. Chappell was apt though when answering to the query, saying, “Why have the law then?” Watson defended his player, saying, “David wouldn’t do anything unsporting. I haven’t talked to him about the incident as yet. He always plays his cricket hard. But we trust the umpires to make the right decisions.”

What the laws say

Were the umpires wrong in giving David Hussey not out? The laws, it seems, are open to interpretation…

Hussey’s case can fall either under Law 37 (obstructing the ball) or Law 33 (handling the ball). Law 37 says: “Batsman is out obstructing the field if he wilfully obstructs or distracts the fielding side by word or action. It shall be regarded as obstruction if while the ball is in play, (the) batsman wilfully, and without the consent of a fielder, strikes the ball with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, after ball has been touched by fielder.”

Law 37 was expanded last year to include batsmen who obstruct the field who have “significantly changed direction without probable cause”.

Law 33 says: “(a) Batsman is out handled the ball if he wilfully touches the ball while in play with a hand or hands not holding the bat (b) Batsman is out if, while the ball is in play, and without the consent of a fielder, he uses his hand not holding the bat to return the ball to any fielder.” However, the law also states: “A batsman will not be out under this law if he handles the ball to avoid injury.”

Did the umpires think Hussey was avoiding injury, a theory Dhoni said was unbelievable?

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Posted by on Feb 27 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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