Hafeez rips into ‘inconsistent umpiring, technology curse’ after Rizwan wicket | Cricket


Chasing 317 to claim a Boxing Day Test match win against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, Pakistan remained firmly in the hunt at 110 for three before making 219 for five on the back of a 57-run stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Salman Agha, before Aussie skipper Pat Cummins had the wicketkeeper-batter caught behind in a controversial dismissal, thus sparking a lower-order collapse. Cummins, who picked a five-wicket haul in the first innings, finished the second innings with 5 for 49 as Pakistan lost the series after being folded for 237.

Mohammad Hafeez has his say on the controversial dismissal of Rizwan
Mohammad Hafeez has his say on the controversial dismissal of Rizwan

Following the loss, Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez admitted that while he is happy with Pakistan’s performance, he fumed at the umpiring and the reliance on technology.

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He said: “We made some mistakes as a team. We will take that. We will address those things. But, with the same time [sic], I believe inconsistent umpiring, technology curse, really given [sic] us the result which should have been different. So I feel, like, these are the areas [that] need to be addressed rightly.”

It had happened in the 61st over of the final innings in Melbourne when Rizwan, batting on 35 and Pakistan 98 runs away from a win, was late in spotting the short ball that didn’t climb much. There was immediately an appeal for a caught behind from the Aussies after the on-field umpire Michael Gough gave it not out. Cummins and his teammates began their celebrations quickly after taking one look at the replay, but third umpire Richard Illingworth took his time. The replay was watched from several angles and after a few minutes, the on-field decision was asked to be overturned.

Hafeez was absolutely unhappy over the call that he felt changed the game’s momentum and handed Australia a series win at the MCG as he blasted the match officials.

“Technology, I’m in favour of it if it’s giving you the benefit, but if it’s bringing some doubt and bringing some curse into the game it should not be acceptable by anyone,” Hafeez said. “We play this beautiful game of cricket on the basics of the game, but sometimes the technology brings some decisions which obviously as a human we don’t understand. The ball hitting into the stumps (on DRS) is always out. Why is there an umpire’s call? I’ve never understood that.

“I think there are a lot of areas that need to be addressed for the betterment of cricket in general where technology is taking away from the instinct of the game. We play this game for the fans but the fans will never understand why this technology is inconsistent and the result of the game comes up differently. This technology is basically putting a curse on this beautiful game of cricket and we need to address it.”

The former Pakistan all-rounder also opened up on his conversation with Rizwan after the dismissal, where the batter showed the significant mark on his right forearm, apparently left by that delivery from Cummins.

“I spoke to him and he’s a very honest person and what he said to me was he did not even feel that it touched anywhere near the gloves,” Hafeez said. “And what we know is there should be conclusive evidence for the third umpire to reverse the decision. The umpire gave it not out and there was no clear conclusive evidence that the decision has to be turned over.”

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