India to protest 'incompetent' Test umpiring

Published: Sunday, January 6, 2008, 16:23 [IST]
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India to protest 'incompetent' umpiring

Sydney: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will lodge a formal complaint with the International Cricket Council over the "incompetent" umpiring of the second Test against Australia, team management said.

Australia dramatically won the Test by 122 runs in the penultimate over of the final day at the Sydney Cricket Ground to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as holders with two matches left in the series.

"I have been informed by the BCCI that they are lodging a strong protest with the ICC, so that some of the incompetent umpires do not umpire in the rest of the series," team manager Chetan Chauhan said at the press conference.

"The way the umpiring was, the team is agitated and upset.

"A lot of decisions have gone against us. Of course, a few went against the Australians also. But it really affected us," he said.

"Had some of the decisions, I would say 50 percent of the decisions, been received in our favour, the result would have been different.

"We're not saying this because we have lost the game. It was for everybody to see."

India captain Anil Kumble, who was seething over the performances of match umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson, suggested that Australia claimed some catches that should not have been appealed.

Kumble also criticised the spirit in which Australia played the Test match.

"Only one team was playing with the spirit of the game, that's all I can say," Kumble told his post-match press conference.

"It's tough when you've played all forms of cricket over the last 25 years and end up on the losing side like this -- it does affect you.

"You try and take it sportingly, but it's very difficult and it hurts when you lose like this and then when you've had a great chance to win the Test match and square the series, but unfortunately it didn't happen."

Rahul Dravid was the victim of a contentious decision on the final day by Bucknor, who gave him out caught behind even though television replays showed the ball missing Dravid's bat amid mass Australian appealing.

Dravid, who had resisted for almost two and a half hours and 103 balls for 38, looked incredulously at Bucknor as he left the pitch.

"We'd like to play hard on the field and expect that from Australia as well," Kumble said.

"I've played my cricket very sincerely and honestly, that's the approach my team takes and we expect that from Australia as well.

"We (with Australian skipper Ricky Ponting) had decided that we will be honest and when a catch is taken the player says he's taken it, the captain nods his head and the umpire gives him out and maybe that's what happened today."

Ponting said there was "absolutely, no doubt about this match being played in the right spirit."

"There's been one little issue that's come out of the game that we'll all hear more about later. Otherwise, the spirit between both teams in both Tests has been excellent."

India spinner Harbhajan Singh faces a charge of racial abuse against Australian player Andrew Symonds at an ICC hearing here later Sunday.

The charge was laid after Harbhajan allegedly made a comment to Symonds, the only black member of the Australian team, during Friday's play in the second Test.

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