29 June 2008

A rant before a week off....

It's the week that I, and some other Cricket Burbler's spend each year, drinking too much Brakspears in the Thames Valley with the pretence of playing cricket all week. That means you're unlikely to see too many Cricket Burble posts for a week.

But before we go, a quick rant. Paul Collingwood was right not to withdraw the appeal against Grant Elliott in the 4th ODI - there's no doubt about that in my mind. That's depite the many people all suggesting he should have recalled Elliott - only in England! The batsman can run at any angle to get up to the other end - the fielder can run in only one to get the ball.....the batsman needs to get out of the way of the fielder. If he deliberately runs in the line that the fielder needs to run in to get to the ball (as a team mate of mine used to do regularly and was often warned by umpires for), then he can expect to be barged out of the way. It is the batsman's choice - if he wants to have a better chance of making his ground, he should not run directly at the fielder - he can run at any angle, the fielder can't.

Being English, we concern ourselves with the spirit of cricket. I would argue that the spirit of cricket is not to deliberately run in the way of the fielder (which is what Elliott did) who is trying to field the ball.

A lot has been said about what Australia would have done, and also what New Zealand did when they ran out Murali as he went to celebrate Sangakkara's 200 in a Test in December 2006. Let's be clear - Australia's last 2 captains, Waugh and Ponting would have sent Elliott on his way, and rightly so. (Incidentally, Ponting has just been fined for words said to an umpire after a decision.) Of the two pieces of play, which was the more "unsporting" - the Elliott wicket or the Murali wicket? I would argue the Murali wicket because he was clearly not trying to complete a run, so New Zealand have no moral high ground to argue from. Both were given out, and correct decisions were made.


Peter Lamb said...

If Elliott had made his ground having knocked a fielder over, could (or should) he have been given out "obstructing the field"? Perhaps one of the umpiring contributors could advise.

Ed said...

I think it's a difficult one for even decent umpires to call, but Grov suggested that he would have called dead ball when the players collided. I assume that means that obstructing the field wasn't a consideration.