The second day of the first Ashes test has been a memorable one for debutant Ashton Agar, demonstrating a batting prowess that is considerably higher than his position in the Aussie batting order. Only the hardest hearted would have begrudged the young man the century that he fell 2 runs short of.
For non Australians today will be remembered for poor England bowling against Agar and Phil Hughes and for two very poor decisions by Elite Panel umpire on TV duty Marais Erasmus.
Erasmus gave Agar not out when he had scored 19, somehow deciding that he could see part of the batsman’s foot behind the line as Matt Prior broke the stumps.
Then in England’s innings he overruled Aleem Dar’s not out to trigger Jonathan Trott first ball even though side on Hotspot was not available and would surely have confirmed that Trott made a slight inside edge onto his pad.
Indeed, the ECB have been diverted enough from their crackdown on YouTube channels to ask for clarification from the ICC on the Trott decision.
It’s ironic that Specsavers are sponsoring officials, as it would surely be a matter of time before jokes about officials needing an eye test were made. So if anyone from the ICC is reading, get Umpire Erasmus down to this branch of Specsavers:
25/27 Central Avenue West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 5GQ, telephone 01159 694830.
Elite players deserve elite level officiating. On today’s performance Erasmus has shown that just like Bruce Oxenford in the Champions Trophy final, he is not an elite level umpire.
Yates has commented before about the Elite Panel – these flawed decisions pose more questions about the ICC’s evaluation procedures of their officials and what action they take to educate and develop their officials to ensure these flawed decisions do not recur.