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Appeals aimed at influencing umpires: Lee

Published: Friday, February 11, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:Australian quick bowler Brett Lee said it was obvious that vigorous appeals were aimed at influencing umpires but denied the Australian team had taken the practice too far.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer claimed this week that the Australians were intimidating umpires and said 29 of 34 close decisions in his team's recent tour Down Under had gone the home team's way.

Lee was frank when asked if the Australias' appeals and the country's vocal hometown crowds could affect umpires decisions.

"Hopefully," he replied. "Hopefully being a bowler you can sway the umpire to give him out.I have not seen a problem with the way the Australian cricket team has been appealing and we only appeal when we think it should be out."

"There has been a lot written about it and sure umpires make mistakes, they're only human.But it is pretty hard for them when he only gets a split second to make a judgement, people get to watch it 15 times at home on super slow-mo replay. I think we should give them a pat on the back because they have done a pretty good job."

Lee said while he had no doubts about umpires' integrity, he would like to see two neutral umpires in one day matches to counter any accusations of hometown favouritism.

"Umpires don't cheat, that is common knowledge," he said. "It would be nice to put those rumours to bed and have neutral umpires in a 50 over match.

Lee also spoke of his chagrin at New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden's theatrical gestures on the field.

"Sometimes when you do look around and you've bowled a wide and you see him stretch his arms out like a pelican it is not the most flattering thing," he said. "You want to just go up to him and push his arms back down."

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