13 July 2013

Broad criticism helps Dar and Clarke avoid inquisitions

Photograph from Wikipedia Commons

The Ashes is back. People all over the country are forgetting to check football transfer news or read the latest article about Andy Murray because of the wicket-tumbling, tail-end wagging and controversial scenes in Nottingham.

One thing is for certain; even the most patriotic Englishman should not assume that victory is in the bag despite Ian Bell's heroics taking his team's lead over 300. This match has been unpredictable from the off and the Aussies have quelled the naive doubts of supporters and pundits alike - they are very much up for the fight.

Despite all the drama on the pitch, the memory that will live long after this game, and even the series, is the contrast in the facial expressions of Darren Lehmann and Stuart Broad after the latter edged to slip.

Broad's face would have paled Matt Le Tissier's efforts on Sky Poker into insignificance, while Lehmann's might have instantly scared Kim Yong-Un into a hidey-hole.

No-one could quite believe that umpire Aleem Dar had failed to see what they had seen, while some could not fathom how Broad managed to hide his clear guilt.

But to all the people out there saying Broad acted against the spirit of the game; walking was abolished by the men in corked hats a long time ago.

The fact that Clarke and his team's fury was directed at Dar and not at Broad shows that he did nothing wrong - what he did was what anyone would in the heat of the Ashes.

There were only two mistakes made that produced the unsavoury moment. One was obviously the three time 'Umpire of the Year's' failure to spot the most obvious of edges. 

The second was Australian captain Clarke's failure to use the Decision Review System for what it was invented. It is meant to be for clear umpiring mistakes and that is why England skipper Alastair Cook uses it sparingly, not for a gamble on optimistic L.B.W shouts.

In that respect the tourists can only have themselves to blame for what happened. The DRS should not be scrutinised, the wrong use of it by the captain should be. 

Dar will never know how he made such a howler, Clarke will wonder why he wasted his side's second chance, and the Trent Bridge crowd will no doubt, fuelled by products kept in barrels, enjoy what should be a thrilling run chase.

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