England and Australia are set to lock horns in the third Ashes at Headingley on Thursday but the controversial dismissal of Jonny Bairstow last week continues to garner reactions from the international cricket fraternity. The latest one to join the bandwagon is former ICC elite umpire Simon Taufel who said people cite the ‘spirit of the game’ when they don’t like a dismissal under the laws of cricket.
England wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow ducked a Cameron Green bouncer on Sunday at Lord’s when the hosts were halfway through in the chase of 371. He instantly left his crease after dodging the ball while Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey attempted an underarm direct hit, leading to Bairstow’s dismissal.
The incident sparked an intense debate with several English players and supporters calling it against the ‘spirit of the game’.
Expressing his views on the incident, Taufel came up with a lengthy post on LinkedIn.
“My experience is when people don’t like a dismissal under the Laws of Cricket, they cite the Spirit of Cricket to support their view,” Taufel wrote.
“Was Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal at Lord’s a breach of the Spirit of Cricket? Have you seen any umpire tell a fielding side that the keeper standing back is not allowed to attempt a stumping? Was there a complaint from anyone when Bairstow tried to stump Marnus exactly the same way in the first innings? What has Jonny Bairstow said about his dismissal? He has been very quiet. Why?
“The hypocrisy and lack of consistency from some people and groups is quite interesting and concerning for the future of our game. Maybe I am the odd one out here,” he added.
After the dismissal, Australia had to face the crowd’s bitterness for the rest of the game as they were booed and jeered with chants of ‘same old Aussies, always cheating’.
“Which part of the codified Preamble (the Spirit of Cricket) was breached by the fielding side? What did the fielding side do in effecting a legitimate dismissal that unfairly impacted the ability of the batter in their attempt not to be dismissed?
(Did they run into him or distract him or prevent him from making good his ground?) “Should a batter be immune from dismissal as per the Laws by simply being negligent (and leaving his ground too early)? “Did England retire Ben Duckett when they disagreed with the (Mitchell) Starc catch decision as per the Laws and umpires’ decision?,” Taufel further said.