Woakes denied Hazlewood's wicket due to controversial no-ball; Isa Guha slams match officials
Controversy erupted early on Day 2 of the Ashes Test match when Chris Woakes was denied the wicket of Josh Hazlewood. In the 85th over, Woakes managed to edge Hazlewood back to the slips, but the umpires ruled it as a no-ball, indicating that he had overstepped the mark.
Hazlewood got a thick outside edge while attempting to play a back-of-a-length delivery around the off-side. The ball traveled straight to the fielder at second slip and the English team erupted in celebration, believing they had secured Hazlewood's wicket, which would have granted Woakes his first 5-wicket-haul since his comeback into the Test team.
The situation gained more attention when renowned British cricket commentator Isa Guha expressed her disapproval of the umpire's decision, calling it "very bad umpiring." Isa Guha, a former England cricketer who participated in the 2005 and 2009 World Cups, added to the controversy.
England's passionate fan group, the Barmy Army, was also infuriated by the incident and questioned the decision, sharing a freeze-frame from the contentious moment.
England aim to level series at Manchester
Despite the controversy, Woakes remained undeterred and eventually claimed the wicket of Hazlewood, Australia's last batter, in the 91st over of the match. This time, Woakes's delivery was slightly shorter but landed in the same channel as before. With this wicket, Woakes completed a fifer, limiting Australia to a total of 317 runs in the first innings of the match. Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh jointly top-scored for the Australian team with 51 runs each.
That’s not a no-ball. Bad umpiring #ashes— Isa Guha (@isaguha) July 20, 2023
The Ashes 2023 series has been highly competitive and, at times, controversial. One of the major controversies occurred at Lord's when Alex Carey's runout of Jonny Bairstow sparked intense debates and turned the English crowd against the Australian team. Throughout the series, Australia's captain, Pat Cummins, and batter Steve Smith faced boos whenever they stepped onto the field.
As of now, Australia holds a 2-1 lead in the Ashes 2023 after three Test matches.