Will the Match Referee step up to the plate please?

From where I am seeing things, Chris Broad, the Match Referee in the ongoing Test series between India and Australia, appears to be sitting on his hands on three issues in the Mohali Test match. He probably doesn’t realise that the only thing that he can guarantee by sitting on his fingers is the acquisition of ring marks on his backside!

Before getting to the specific issue, I must say that I was quite shocked to see Chris Broad openly criticise one of the playing officials when the match was still in progress! When commenting about the non-referral of the Sourav Ganguly stumping episode, Chris Broad commented to “The Australian” newspaper, “The policy is for umpires to make as many decisions out on the field as they possibly can. Of course, no one likes to see umpires being criticised, me of all people. Ideally, I would have liked for [Koertzen] to call for the third umpire. But he made his decision with what he saw, and you can’t argue about that. The only thing you can argue about is the fact that it was possibly wrong, in hindsight. But at the time, if you look where he was standing, and the camera from behind him, you would also think he didn’t lift his foot.”

Since when has a match referee started commenting on specific dismissals? Is it appropriate for a match referee to comment on specific dismissals while a Test match is in progress? I’d think not! In my view, this was somewhat inappropriate behaviour on the part of the Match Referee.

However, there are three things that Chris Broad ought to do right away, in my view.

1. Censure Ponting:

I think Chris Broad ought to censure Ricky Ponting for carrying on like a spoilt pork chop when Virender Sehwag was not given out, caught behind by Asad Rauf. I think a wrap on the knuckles and a severe warning will be in order here. As a Team India fan, I hope Chris Broad does not ban Ricky Ponting — although he does deserve one in my view — for, Pontings’ somewhat weird captaincy in this series appears to be benefiting India right at this moment!

On the 4th morning, Asad Rauf did not detect what was a loud nick off the blade of Virender Sehwag off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson. Bowler and ‘keeper Haddin could not believe their eyes, but got on with the job!

This is how Jon Pierik from The Herald Sun reported the events that unfolded:

Ponting’s animated on-field style has been a worry among Cricket Australia officials for some time.

While former skipper Mark Taylor was the master at making his point discreetly, whether to teammates or the umpires, Ponting’s emotions too often spill over.

That was evident in the incident with Lee, and earlier when a caught-behind appeal off Virender Sehwag was knocked back.

A disbelieving Ponting rushed in from mid-wicket with his hands waving about, when he could have just saddled up to umpire Asad Rauf quietly at the end of the over.

Rauf had made a blunder, but Ponting didn’t need to act in the manner he did.

Ponting is a passionate cricketer but, as captain, he must remain composed as often as possible, for that helps to spread calm among his team.

As Australia enters a daunting new era with several raw players, there’s bound to be more days like those experienced in Mohali.

Ponting needs to at least portray that all will be well.

If Ponting cast his mind back even for a second to Sydney this year and remembers a mate of his that went fishing recently, he would not have charged in the direction of Sehwag to converse with him.

2. Censure Matthew Hayden

I wonder why the Match Referee should not censure Matthew Hayden for remonstrating with Indian fielders as he was making his way to the pavilion, after getting out in the 2nd Innings at Mohali.

It is most likely that an Indian fielder enquired about Hayden’s health and said something like, “Enjoy your shower mate” or “Where are you off for dinner?” or something like that! That doesn’t call for an Oscar-award winning show with spread arms and feigned hurt! After all, Hayden’s been dishing it out for as long as one can remember! And, as Mark Nicholas would say, a person that is so used to making his own bed ought to learn how to sleep in it!

I do wish Chris Broad censures Matthew Hayden for the his unsportsmanlike behaviour on getting out. I am not saying that I like players saying sweet nothings to departing players. But I am saying that Matthew Hayden, as one who dishes it out regularly, ought to know how to accept it occasionally when it comes flying back at him! The Oscar-award winning performance was so totally unnecessary and, in my view, brought the game into disrepute.

As I write this, we have learned that Zaheer Khan has been charged! I guess this is to be expected after Matthew Hayden’s Oscar performance.

3. Report Rudi Koertzen

I think Chris Broad has to report Rudi Koertzen. The aging umpire has made one mistake too many in this Test series and, before long, we could have a Bucknor on our hands! I can point the mistakes out, but this has already been chronicled heavily in several blogs and articles. I still feel that Rudi Koertzen has a few years of umpiring in him. But instead of tainting him in public, like he has done this week, Chris Broad could report him to the ICC, ensure that he is looked after through remedial training, coaching and more.

With all of the above going on, I am not sure what the Match Referee is actually paid to do! Will he please step up to the plate and do something about this caper?

— Mohan

9 responses to “Will the Match Referee step up to the plate please?

  1. I am not endorsing Zaheer Khan’s send off of Hayden – completely uncalled for. But Hayden complaining to the umpire is almost laughable. As was charging him.

    Broad should have just called him in for censure and nothing more – Charging him is a bit over the broad, I mean board 🙂

  2. ur an anti-australian prick !

  3. Just about the only thing i agree with u on is Chris Broad openly criticising a playing official. This should not be on ! And the fact that Chris Broad has to report Rudi Koertzen.

    I’ll leave it at that. Lets let the cricket do the talking. I thnk from indias point of view kumble should be left out as mishra is much more of a wicket taking bowler who spins the ball sharply thus much more likely to trouble the opposition. But with Kumble having 600+ test wickets under his belt and being ‘captain’ of the side this will not be easy leave him out. Both spinners have been named in the squad.

    For Australia i think drop Camreon White…hes not ready for international cricket simple. And the same applies for Peter Siddle. I think if u dont have a good spinner fit then atleast play a quick that will pick up wickets than having a pretend spinner on paper. I say the aussies should go with Lee, Johnson, Tait and Hilffenhouse. See how the indians handle that pace! I was also VERY SUPRISED that katich didnt get a bowl. Hez a more than useful wrist spinner who has taken many wickets in first class cricket, why he didnt get a bowl has got me ‘stumped’. The accuracy and presistence of stuart clark was greatly missed by the aussies.

  4. @Praz

    I agree with Mohan and I am neither anti-Australian nor am I a prick!

    I assume you are Australian.

    You are the first Aussie to say, “Lets let the cricket do the talking.” Wonder why? Oh wait. I had a look at the scoreboard. It reads India-1, Australia-0!

    Is that when the moral-cops come out of the woodwork in Australia? Up until now, every hole was doing the talking in the Australian team. Now you want the cricket to do the talking? Its too late mate. You got to let the shit that you flung stick to ya before we all let the cricket do the talking. Enjoy it for a while!

  5. chris hutchinson

    Pull your heads in boys!

    Opinions are opinions.

    I am Australian and we woz murdered.

    But you Indian guys! Now you want it both ways.

    Aussies need to shut up when out and head straight to the pavilion.

    But after crying wolf now want to focus on what should happen to Australians and officials but not on what the obvious transgressions by Indians were.

    Too good and by someway India. But not both ways.

    It’s lonely at the top, if you can get there….. and stay there.

    Lose the chip on your shoulder.

    …and Aussies! Cop it in the neck. They never, ever last long these blokes and money wont change anything.

    We, or Ponting, Hayden and Symonds have not been the same since Sydney after being forced by our own board to bend over to appease India…. and the money.

    Let’s play the game hard and just see who is the real evil in the brave new cricket world.

  6. Its funny to hear these words from Aussies
    “Aussies They never, ever last long these blokes and money wont change anything”
    Why Aussies playing for ICL n IPL lol…
    martyn playing for ICL leaving cricketAustralia…
    why? They get huge money…..
    Aussies are professional playeres who plays for money…….

  7. well said Kumar..

    Boy !! Keep watching..

    Keep watching mate…
    Its simply cricket and Passion for cricket..

    there is nothing like new world cricket.. I’m afraid OZs are focussing too much this new world stuff and leaving their cricket behind.

  8. @chris hutchinson

    I admit I had my tongue in my cheek as I wrote this piece!

    However, chris, you are welcome to your head-in-the-sand approach when you say, “We, or Ponting, Hayden and Symonds have not been the same since Sydney after being forced by our own board to bend over to appease India…. and the money.”

    You need to wake up and smell the roses.

    Let’s deal with facts:

    F1- Mike Proctor is kicked out. Nowhere to be seen. Conclusion: Proctor conducted a kangaroo court; a sham and a disgrace.
    F2- Steve Bucknor is gone. Conclusion: He stuffed up Sydney and robbed the Indians in Sydney.
    F3- A proper judge conducted a proper appeal hearing in Adelaide and exonerated Harbhajan Singh. Conclusion: There was no evidence to support a claim from Symonds that he was abused.
    F4- The catch-treaty was junked. Conclusion: The Indians do not trust the Australians to be honest and above-board when the pressure is on them.

    The above are facts and the conclusions are not mere hand-waves and assertions.

    You are welcome to your wild conspiracy theories. But if you stop burying your head in the sand, you will look at the verifiable facts and work off them. The facts point to a highly plausible conclusion that although India was robbed in Sydney in terms of the result, luckily, the appeals process ensured that India wasn’t robbed twice.

    And here’s what Peter Roebuck writes in todays’ Age: “India’s great players have outlasted their counterparts, besides which Australia had not defeated these opponents legitimately since the Boxing Day Test match. Betrayed at the SCG, India has won one and drawn two of the ensuing Tests. Moreover, they had grown stronger even as the visitors faded. India’s opening batsmen and new ball bowlers dominated this contest. None of them played in Melbourne. Defeat has been coming.”

    And before you knock Roebuck, he has been already been quoted today by Greg Baum in The Age!

  9. In the past decade, no other team has given the aussies as stiff competition as India. And finally we are getting the better of them.And regarding the match referees, in my view, Gundappa Vishwanath is one of the best match referees there is. Hope to see more such people like him!

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