New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has criticised the young Australian skipper Steve Smith on his decision over the controversial dismissal of Ben Stokes during the second ODI.
Stokes was given out as ‘obstructing the field’ dismissal which goes controversial.
Stokes became the seventh cricketer in cricket history to be given out ‘obstructing the field’ after he palmed away a throw from Mitchell Starc on the follow-through, in an apparent act of self defense.
“Cricket’s reputation of being the gentleman’s game would have been well served if smith had withdrawn the appeal,” said the Kiwi skipper.
Talking over Smith’s captaincy, Baz said, “It’s probably too early in Steve Smith’s captaincy career to appreciate this but, one day he’ll look back at the Ben Stokes dismissal at Lord’s on Saturday and realise he missed a great opportunity to strike a blow for the spirit of cricket.”
Adding to this, the destructive batsman said, “I am speaking from my experience of running out Muttiah Muralitharan while the off-spinner was celebrating his partner Kumar Sangakkara’s century,” adding, I would have handled that incident very differently now.”
“We’ve all done things on the field that we regret later. I know I certainly have. But it was disappointing that Smith had a chance to make a statement about the way he wants his side to play the game and chose to go the other way. Winning is important but the longer you play this game the more you realise that some things are too valuable to spoil. By not withdrawing the appeal, Smith showed his immaturity. He may live to regret it,” He added.
Meanwhile, former English skipper Michael Vaughan has said, “Smith was well within the rules to appeal for the dismissal but the incident would set an example in an era where teams are willing to push the boundaries in a bid to play an aggressive brand of cricket. Steven Smith did not do anything wrong in appealing for the dismissal of Ben Stokes but the incident has set a precedent and I would now be telling my bowlers to throw it back at the batsman if they get a chance.”
Vaughan also said, “If the ball strikes a hand, glove or bat then it will have to be out. I think we will see it happening more and more, particularly in an era when players are being aggressive and trying to advance down the pitch or throw the ball at a batsman to try and intimidate him. Smith is a young captain desperate to win his first series as well as look tough and hard. A more experienced captain five years into the job would probably have called Stokes back but when you first start you do not want to show any sign of weakness, and after losing the Ashes, Australia want to give England a good hiding in the one-dayers.”