Hafeez calls out 'inconsistent umpiring', wants relook at umpire's call

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Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez was critical of the umpire's call
Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez was critical of the umpire's call © Getty

Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez has blamed 'inconsistent umpiring' and 'curse of technology' as unforced errors for his team's 79-run defeat to Australia in the second Test at the MCG.

Hafeez in particular was unhappy with the concept of umpire's call, a system designed to give the benefit of the doubt to the on-field umpire in case the decision isn't a howler. While the merits of the system have been long established, Hafeez isn't the first high-profile cricketer to question it. Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar have been among those who have spoken out against the umpire's call too.

"There's always room for improvement in cricket. Umpire's call creates such doubt that it changes the game completely," Hafeez reckoned. "It favours one team and hurts the other. It has to be changed. If it's hitting the stumps, it should always be out. When the ball hits the stumps, it's always out. How can you have a situation where a ball is hitting the stumps and [it's not out] because of the umpire's call? This has to be looked at."

Admittedly, Pakistan were on the receiving end of quite a few umpire's calls during the Boxing Day Test but perhaps nothing would have stung harder than the decision on Mitchell Marsh. The Australian batter, who made 96 and took the target beyond the visitors, was only on 25 when a Hasan Ali delivery was deemed to be clipping the off-stump and ruled 'not out' by the DRS, in line with the on-field decision.

"We made some mistakes as a team and we will address those things but at the same time, I believe inconsistent umpiring and the curse of technology gave a result which should have been different. I feel like these are the areas that need to be addressed. Sometimes it feels like it's a technology show, and that we aren't really playing cricket. We played better cricket as a team and we're proud of that," Hafeez opined.

Hafeez felt that Pakistan were the 'better' team on display and should have gone on to win the Test match, notwithstanding the bowling and fielding blunders that he went on to point out.

"We prepared ourselves very well. The way the team had the courage to take this game in the best possible way. If I sum up the game, the Pakistan team played better than the other team in general. Our batting intent was better, and while bowling, we were hitting the right areas.

"This game we were very close but we couldn't win. We made some mistakes, conceding 52 extras which really hurt us. And then crumbling from 124 for 1 to lose five main batters, that was a crucial moment we couldn't win in the game. And then Australia were 16/4, we dropped a couple of catches that should have been taken. There were certain moments in the game we couldn't win. If we had taken our chances and won those crucial moments, perhaps this match would have ended earlier and we would have won. But this is the way the game goes; if you make a mistake this game can hurt you.

"I would like to congratulate Australia on a series win for sure they play good cricket. But as a team, I'm really proud of the fact that the Pakistan team showed great courage, great intent and played with great passion."




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