Jul 5, 2023, 17:24 IST

Ashes 2023: Simon Taufel calls out critics over “Spirit of Cricket” after Jonny Bairstow dismissal


In less than 24 hours, the 3rd test match for the Ashes series moves to Leeds with Australia holding a 2-0 lead. The game at Lords ended in acrimony as there was widespread controversy. The reason for the entire controversy was due to the way Jonny Bairstow was dismissed. As the game moves to his home ground, the English batter will be keen to prove a point with the bat. Pat Cummins and his men on the other hand will want to win the game and take a 3-0 lead and win their 1st Ashes series in England since 2001.

Simon Taufel has his say –

Former international umpire, Simon Taufel has waded into the entire controversy. Taufel, who was known to be one of the best umpires in the world took to professional network site LinkedIn to pen down his thoughts. Taufel, made 8 points in the post which caught the attention of many fans and sent a timely question to the custodians of the game.

Former umpire poses tough questions –

Simon Taufel recently penned down a post on LinkedIn and made his thoughts clear on the entire Bairstow controversy. He called out the Englishman and the teams fans for crying out and using the “Spirit of Cricket” card. This specially after Bairstow had tried to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne the same way in the 1st innings of the same game.

Hard hitting facts by Simon Taufel –

Taking to networking site, Mr. Taufel wrote “Was Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal at Lords a breach of the Spirit of Cricket? This is a question I have been inundated with, so I thought it best to share my thoughts publicly by asking everyone a question or eight to consider…

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?

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?

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)?

8. Did England retire Ben Duckett when they disagreed with the Starc catch decision as per the Laws and umpires’ decision?

Simon Taufel ends his post with a poignant question –

Harsha Bhogle was one of the earliest who noted and pointed out the hypocrisy of the entire incident. Simon Taufel finished of the post and wrote “interesting and concerning for the future of our game.Maybe I am the odd one out here?The good news is that we are actively engaged with Test cricket, the best form of the game.

The incident between Labuschagne and Bairstow –

While the English media and its fans are crying hoarse, there is an incident which has come to light that involves Marnus Labuschagne and Jonny Bairstow. The incident in question happened in the 2nd innings with Labuschagne letting a ball go off James Anderson. Bairstow threw the ball towards the batter which missed the stumps and the Australian was in his crease anyways. The fact is that, Bairstow tried to dismiss Labuschagne the same way a day earlier the same way he was dismissed.

(All quotes are from Mr. Simon Taufel’s official LinkedIn Page)