Dan Christian was fuming and so was Shane Warne when controversy struck late in the Sydney Sixers’ innings during Saturday night’s Big bash League (BBL) final.
Thankfully the divisive calls didn’t impact the result as the Sixers beat the Perth Scorchers by 27 runs at the SCG to secure their third BBL title, but had things gone differently then the umpires’ actions may be facing a lot more scrutiny.
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Sixers all-rounder Christian was out for 20 off 14 balls in the 19th over when he skied a full toss to deep mid-wicket and was caught on the boundary, but both he and Warne didn’t think he deserved to leave.
The full toss appeared to be over Christian’s waist when he made contact with the ball which, under normal circumstances, would see the delivery be ruled a no-ball.
But because the veteran T20 star took two steps down the wicket to play his shot, the third umpire let it slide when the decision went upstairs.
The official must have thought that had Christian remained in his normal batting stance closer to the crease, by the time the ball reached him, it would have dipped below waist-height, so the dismissal stood.
Christian was livid, his disgust obvious as he trudged from the field, and Warne was backing him.
“That’s high. That’s chest height,” Warne said in commentary for Fox Sports. “I know he’s taken two steps down but look at that. That’s high. That has to be a no-ball.
“The umpires have missed a few of those this tournament.”
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The questionable calls kept coming as Scorchers quick Jhye Richardson was pinged for a wide outside off stump in the final over, even though Sixers star Carlos Brathwaite backed away to the leg side and cost himself a swing.
“What’s happening with the umpires?” Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist said in commentary for Fox Cricket.
Another controversial wide call then went Perth’s way when Richardson’s bouncer looked to sail over Brathwaite’s head, only for the square leg umpire to keep his arms down and not intervene.
“That was miles over his head,” Warne said. “Look at this. That’s a wide.
“I reckon they have had three decisions to make and they got all three of them wrong.”
Christian got penalised for a wide over the head when bowling early in the Scorchers’ chase, leaving Warne exasperated.
“Oh, come on. We saw this in the first innings,” he said. “All you want as players is consistency. Straight away they (the umpires) haven’t been consistent.
“That’s too harsh. Just consistency, please.”
The Sixers posted 6/188 thanks to a spectacular 95 off 60 balls from Englishman James Vince and while the Scorchers started their chase strongly, they couldn’t maintain the rage and a flurry of late wickets saw them finish their 20 overs at 9/161.