Simon Taufel opines on Bairstow's controversial dismissal
Former ICC Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel dispelled the 'spirit of cricket' conveniently invoked by English cricket fraternity ever since the controversial but legal Jonny Bairstow stumping on Day 5 of the Lord's Ashes 2023 Test.
Taufel put forth facts and views to assert that the dismissal inflicted by Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey was never a breach of the spirit of the game. The ex leading umpire brought the dismissal to the scanner and asked eight critical questions in relation to the seemingly never-ending matter.
Taking to a Linked.in post, Taufel indirectly brushed aside each of the England camp's arguments in the whole fiasco, with the first made in response to Bairstow's teammate Stuart Broad, who said since the England wicketkeeper wasn't "seeking an advantage" by leaving the crease, the Australians ought to have considered revoking their appeal.
Broad also defended the similar stumping attempt from Bairstow earlier in the game amidst accusations of hypocrisy from England, insisting that on the particular instance Marnus Labuschagne may have been trying to seek the advantage, when the batter was actually firmly standing deep inside the crease at the point of the throw.
Taufel digs into English attitude after Bairstow dismissal
"1. Have you seen any umpire tell a fielding side that the keeper standing back is not allowed to attempt a stumping? 2. Was there a complaint from anyone when Bairstow tried to stump Marnus exactly the same way in the first innings?" Taufel wrote.
The former premier match official asked why is Bairstow, who was left fuming immediately after his dismissal, has been quiet in the whole episode where Broad, skipper Ben Stokes and even coach Brendon McCullum have been openly criticising the Australians for subjecting their teammate to the laws?
"3. What has Jonny Bairstow said about his dismissal? He has been very quiet. Why? 4. 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. 5. Which part of the codified Preamble (the Spirit of Cricket) was breached by the fielding side?" Taufel asked.
"6. 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 making good his ground?) 7. Should a batter be immune from dismissal as per the Laws by simply being negligent (and leaving his ground too early)?"
Taufel further instigated the English hypocrisy in the matter by asking Stokes, who said he believes there is a fairer manner in which Australia could've won and questioned the visiting side's ethos, why was he happy to play by the laws when opener Ben Duckett survived a catch from Mitchell Starc on Day 4, which was deemed illegal since the fielder had slid and rolled the ball on the turf?
"8. Did England retire Ben Duckett when they disagreed with the Starc catch decision as per the Laws and umpires’ decision?" Taufel asked, before adding: "The hypocrisy and lack of consistency from some people and groups is quite interesting and concerning for the future of our game."