'He did scrape the ball' - Vaughan, Cook agree with the 'not out' call on Starc's controversial grab
Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook nodded in approval with the 'not out' call made by the television umpire in the controversial Mitchell Starc catch matter from the penultimate day of the Lord's Test in Ashes 2023.
Starc initially made a valiant attempt at taking a catch behind square after England opener Ben Duckett mistimed his attempted upper-cut shot against Cameron Green. But at the finishing stage of the grab, the left-arm seamer made the big mistake of sliding and rolling the ball on the turf.
It meant that even as the bowler was convinced he had taken the catch legally and started celebrating, the TV umpires went by the MCC laws and found that at the point at which the fielder wasn't squarely in control of the ball, he rubbed it over the ground while sliding through.
Duckett was recalled to resume his innings, with the decision giving him and England a huge sigh of relief as they avoided a fifth breakthrough to Australia at the fag end of Day 4, trying to chase down the daunting 371-run target to escape a 2-0 Ashes scoreline.
Vaughan, Cook on the Starc catch controversy
Speaking on the BBC, Vaughan stood in agreement with the decision made by the TV umpire in coordination with the on-field officials, insisting that since Starc had slid through with the ball and then rubbed it onto the ground, the not-out call was only imminent.
"I don't think he had control of his body, he did scrape the ball. Starc should have been sharper. He will turn his hand next time," Vaughan said, pressing hard on the lack of control the bowler had at the point of his slide, which, clearly, coincided with the ball rolling along the green carpet.
Cook, who is doing commentary duties for the Ashes 2023, also called out the fielder for his fatal error that denied Australia another wicket.
"Not out, it's an obvious thing. I always thought the ball can't touch the ground and it touches the ground," said the Test match batting great.
"He caught that catch in his hands while still moving and he quite obviously scraped the floor. I wasn't totally sure of the rules, but it should be simple, if the ball touches the ground, it shouldn't be out," he added.