In controversial scenes at Adelaide Oval, Australia was denied a wicket during Sunday evening’s T20I against the West Indies because nobody appealed for a run-out.
The West Indies were 9-190 in the penultimate over of the run chase when tailender Alzarri Joseph fended the ball towards cover and sprinted through for a suicidal single. Australian captain Mitchell Marsh retrieved the ball and threw it towards the non-striker’s end, where bowler Spencer Johnson whipped off the bails.
Marsh threw his head back in frustration while Johnson immediately trudged back towards the top of his mark. Umpire Gerard Abood looked around at the Australian players for several seconds before retrieving the bails and putting them back on the stumps.
“No appeal,” he muttered, as picked up by the stump microphones.
Replays of the run-out appeared on the venue’s big screens, showing that Joseph was inches short of making his ground. However, Abood quickly interrupted the Australian team’s celebrations.
“Stop, stop, stop, hang on,” Abood told Marsh and his teammates.
“Stop, there was no appeal.”
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Australian batter Tim David, who had been fielding at deep point near the boundary rope, stormed in and informed Abood: “I appealed, Gerard I appealed, I promise you.
“This is a joke.
“I appealed from deep point, I appealed.”
Abood responded: “Can we get on with the game guys, please?”
Several Australian players continued arguing with Abood, one of whom declared the official had made an “umpiring error”.
“This is ridiculous,” Abood said.
“Guys, we’re getting into really poor territory. Get on with the game.”
Boos echoed around the venue when players returned to their mark for the next delivery, while former Australian batter Michael Hussey condemned the team’s behaviour.
“It’s not a good look for young kids out there watching,” Hussey said on Fox Cricket commentary.
“You’ve got to accept the umpire’s decision and move on.”
Australia ultimately won the match by 34 runs, with the hosts taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Abood correctly identified that he could not give Joseph out without an appeal, as stated in Law 31.1: “Neither umpire shall give a batter out, even though they may be out under the Laws, unless appealed to by a fielder.”
However, Law 31.3 suggests the Australians could have appealed for the dismissal even after replays were shown on the big screens.
“For an appeal to be valid, it must be made before the bowler begins their run-up,” the Law states.
During an ODI from Australia’s 2016 tour of New Zealand, Marsh was initially given not out by umpire Ian Gould after chipping a return catch back to bowler Matt Henry, but the decision was sent upstairs to the third official after replays appeared on the big screen. At the time, there was also conjecture about whether the Black Caps had appealed.
Meanwhile, the Preamble to the Laws of Cricket, labelled ‘Spirit of Cricket’, informs players to “respect the authority of the umpires” and “accept the umpire’s decision”.
The third and final T20 between Australia and the West Indies gets underway at Perth Stadium on Tuesday at 7pm AEDT.