Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 8th 2015 Contents A59
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Australia skipper Steve Smith may
already regret pressing for Ben Stokes
to be dismissed for obstructing the
field, according to former England
captain Alec Stewart.
Stokes became just the seventh bats-
man in international cricket to be given
out via the sport s rarest mode of dis-
missal, and England went on to lose
by 64 runs in Saturday s One-Day
international at Lord s.
Australia s insistence on calling for
Stokes to go threatened to sour relations
with England for the remainder of the
Royal London Series, which the tourists
lead 2-0 with three matches remain-
ing---the next at Old Trafford on Tues-
Stokes thrust out his left hand when
trying to regain his ground, as bowler
Mitchell Starc fielded a straight drive
and from short range threw the ball
back in a run-out attempt.
He palmed the ball away, Starc
appealed, and following the instinctive
referral from Kumar Dharmasena on
field, slow-motion perusal by third
umpire Joel Wilson was enough to con-
vince the officials Stokes was out.
"In the heat of the battle I understand
why Steve Smith made that decision,"
Stewart said on Sunday.
"I think in hindsight, probably, maybe
this morning, he will reflect on it that
it was the wrong decision (and) he
should have actually retracted that
Smith took exception to his opposite
number Eoin Morgan s suggestion that,
in the Australia captain s place, he
would have withdrawn the appeal
According to Stewart, Stokes acted
out of "self-preservation"---looking to
avoid injury above thinking about his
Stewart told BBC Radio 5 Live:
"We ve had other instances in the past,
perhaps Paul Collingwood against New
Zealand when he played the run out
to run out Grant Elliott at The Oval."
In that incident, in 2008, Elliott col-
lided with England bowler Ryan Side-
bottom, and Collingwood, captaining
the side, turned down an opportunity
to withdraw England s appeal.
The Stokes incident was a different
The Laws of Cricket stipulate that a
batsman must be judged to "wilfully
attempt to obstruct or distract the field-
ing side" to be given out in the manner
that Stokes saw his innings end.
Stewart said: "At the time I m just
thinking, Ben Stokes is taking evasive
action---no way is that out.
"I d have to question the third
umpire: what on Earth was he thinking?
Why didn t he watch the replays in full
speed as against just in slow motion?
I think when you slow everything down
it gives almost a false picture.
"It was just bad. When the ball is
thrown at you at 80 miles per hour
from eight or so metres away you re
going to take evasive action, you re
going to put your hand up whether
you ve got a helmet on or not to protect
"And even though the pictures are
showing his hand was outside the line
of his head, to me that is still taking
evasive action and therefore it should
not have been out.
"You can see from Ben Stokes reac-
tion he wasn t even looking at the ball."
Australia s George Bailey
insists the Lord s officials were
entirely vindicated in arriving at
the "basic" and correct decision
to give Ben Stokes out obstruct-
ing the field.
Stokes became only the second
England player in international
cricket history to depart to his
sport s rarest mode of dismissal,
as the hosts slipped to a contro-
versial defeat in the second Royal
London Series match.
England captain Eoin Morgan
responded by claiming he would
have withdrawn the appeal against
Stokes, who thrust out a hand in
mid-air as the rest of his body
contorted away from the line of
a throw from Mitchell Starc back
towards the stumps following a
Stokes was out of his ground,
and the ball appeared to be head-
ing for the stumps to run him out.
Once Australia captain Steve
Smith appealed, on-field umpires
Kumar Dharmasena and Tim
Robinson referred the decision to
third official Joel Wilson---who,
with slow-motion replay at his
disposal, overturned the initial
soft signal of not out.
Bailey has no doubt the right
outcome was reached, and
believes most will eventually agree
once they consider the relevant
Law and apply it to the circum-
Boos echoed round Lord s, as
Stokes made his way off fourth
out in England s failed run chase,
and they continued for much of
the remainder of the match as the
hosts were bowled out for 245 to
go 2-0 down with three to play.
Bailey joked that the home sup-
port must be missing their
favourite Australian Mitchell
Johnson, rested for this one-day
international series, and are there-
fore taking the chance at a new
"I think the crowd like to boo
a Mitch over here, don t they?"
"They ve probably been missing
Mitchell Johnson for a couple of
weeks, and that might wake them
up a bit."
Bailey, who made a half-cen-
tury in Australia s 309 for seven
at HQ, believes the controversy
may provide an extra edge to the
final three matches, in Manchester
"The north haven t had much
(international) cricket, so...it
should provide a bit of spark.
"But I think, once everyone
takes the emotion out of it and
actually just works through the
Law...I think it s a basic decision."
As for Morgan s response---he
was the non-striker when Stokes
was out---Bailey refers him too to
what he sees as the facts.
"He s obviously very emotional
about it, still," Bailey said.
"That s fine, when he was out
"But we think the ball was hit-
ting the stumps, he was out of
his crease, and he put his hand
up when the ball wasn t going to
Bailey extends the logic of Mor-
gan suggesting he would have
withdrawn the appeal to many
other everyday instances in which
it would be highly unlikely a bats-
man would be reprieved.
"It s a big call for Eoin to say
that," Bailey added.
"I assume that means, if that s
how he feels about it, any time
a batter nicks one on to his pad
and gets given lbw---or gets given
out wrongfully caught-behind---
he ll call them back as well.
There is no reason, as far as
Bailey is concerned, to have called
"I think the correct decision
was made," he said. "I don t think
the ball was going to hit him; I
think it was going to hit the
stumps, (and) he was out of his
He therefore congratulates Wil-
son on his application of the rules,
saying: "We ve got fantastic tech-
nology now, and I think that prob-
ably allowed the third umpire to
go through and double-check that
"The key words there were
wilfully , and whether it was in
self-defence. The ball wasn t going
to hit him, so it s not really self-
defence. He stuck his hand out
to stop the ball hitting the
Bailey insists Aussies were right
Engalnd captain Eoin Morgan and Australia captain Steve Smith discuss Ben
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