For f***’s sake match referee, are you blind?

What, exactly, does a match referee do? I ask because there seems to have been no suggestion that the acts of AB de Villiers – and, perhaps, Michael Vaughan – should be put before him for consideration.

I refer of course to the thorny issue of the cleanliness of catches.

De Villiers hardly needs a hearing – he should simply be banned for at least one Test for the most poorly concealed attempt to mislead an umpire in cricket this century. The case of Vaughan is less clear-cut. I hope I say this without bias, but I think he might genuinely have believed he picked up the chance from Hashim Amla.

If, though, he really tried to claim a catch he knew was dubious after apparently giving De Villiers an earful at lunch for his misbehaviour, our esteemed leader really must be lacking something up top – and I’m not referring to his rapidly receding hairline.

But, for reasons of fairness, if South Africa think his crime warrants the same action as that of De Villiers, I think it is only right and proper that he should have the chance to defend himself.

It seems odd that Paul Collingwood should be banned from four one-day internationals for failing to keep up with the required run-rate, yet acts far more potentially damaging to the game in the long run, do not, seemingly, warrant further investigation.

Surely deeds that could – I emphasise could – constitute cheating should come under the referee’s scrutiny? How much longer are they prepared to turn a blind eye? Over to you, Jeff Crowe.

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1 Comment

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One response to “For f***’s sake match referee, are you blind?

  1. The problem is that the ‘cheating’ that looks so obvious to us onscreen could be portrayed by AB to be something that he thought was legitimate. We saw enough of this during the historical Sydney test last summer. If the fielder is trying to mislead the umpire, blame the umpire for taking the fielder’s word. The umpire can always refer to the 3rd umpire to clarify the decision. There have been cases where bowlers appeal when they know it is not out. Then why blame the fielders alone?

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