Players and officials have laughed off one of the more bizarre umpiring incidents in Big Bash League history.
- Umpire Greg Davidson changed his mind halfway through an LBW decision on Melbourne Renegades batsman Beau Webster
- The BBL does not use a review system, or ‘snicko’ to determine whether a batsman has got an inside edge in an LBW decision
- Chasing 156, the Renegades lost three wickets — including skipper Aaron Finch — in an over as they lost by 18 runs
Umpire Greg Davidson caused a furore at Docklands on Sunday night when he appeared to change his mind midway through an LBW decision.
Adelaide Strikers spinner Rashid Khan thought he had trapped Melbourne Renegades batsman Beau Webster in front, and Davidson began raising his index finger.
But the umpire instead scratched his nose, sparking confusion among players and the 20,089-strong crowd.
Replays showed Rashid’s delivery would have hit the wicket, however, it was Davidson’s belief the batsman had nicked the ball.
“It was one of those things, heat of the moment,” Davidson told Channel 7.
“I started to think and then got a second noise through my head, so I decided to change the decision halfway through and gave it not out.”
Webster finished unbeaten on 36 as his Renegades suffered an 18-run defeat, their fourth in succession to start the new season.
Both teams were quick to move on after the match.
Strikers opener Phil Salt dismissed it as a simple human error.
It was all smiles after the match, but umpire Greg Davidson’s (R) changed LBW decision surprised everyone. (AAP: Michael Dodge )
“I saw his hand start to go up and I didn’t see the initial sort of moustache scratch,” Salt said.
“When that came up on the big screen, I just cracked up. It happens, doesn’t it? He’s only human … you can’t get all of them right.”
Renegades coach Michael Klinger couldn’t recall seeing a similar incident in professional cricket, but praised Davidson’s courage and quick thinking.
“To be honest, I like it,” Klinger said.
“I think he felt he made half a mistake and he thought that Beau hit it.
Big Bash League tweet: It’s @StrikersBBL win on the road after a special display of @rashidkhan_19 bowling #BBL09
“I think it’s gutsy for him to change it halfway through, so I commend him for that.
“I actually think it’s the right call whether it happened for us or against.”
Slow outfield yields low scores
Davidson’s call wasn’t the only issue that caused a stir among fans on social media, many of whom were quick to point out the unusually slow Docklands outfield.
Despite a good pitch for batting in the middle, both sides made their lowest totals of the season from their allotted 20 overs.
The Strikers finished with 6-155, while the Renegades managed just 8-137 in response, losing three wickets — including skipper Aaron Finch — in one over.
“It was slow. They’ve obviously had different [events] on here … so there’s reasons why,” Klinger said.
“In previous years, when we’ve played here it hasn’t been this slow and there’s been higher scoring.
“It would be nice if it could be a bit quicker, but at the end of the day it’s the same for both teams, so it doesn’t cause a difference in the game.
“But it’s obviously a better spectacle if the outfield’s a bit quicker.”