Green “definitely,” thought he caught it, while Mohammed Shami and Alex Carey also stand on opposing sides of the raging debate.
Shubman Gill Debate Rages On: The Validity of Cameron Green’s Catch in WTC Final
Fifteen minutes after the close of play, Shubman Gill took to social media to question the decision that led to his dismissal on the fourth day of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval.
Tweeting a front-on angle photograph of Cameron Green taking the catch down to his left at the gully, Gill captioned it with two magnifying glass emojis followed by a facepalm emoji. That sentiment was echoed somewhat by Mohammed Shami later, who suggested the occasion of this final warranted more rigour in the decision-making.
Gill was on 18 as India began their pursuit of 444 when he edged Scott Boland low to Green’s left. Green – who said he thought the catch was clean – celebrated immediately, but Gill did not walk off directly. The on-field umpires went up to the TV umpire Richard Kettleborough, with a new protocol in place now without giving a weak signal. The ICC’s cricket committee scrapped the need for a weak signal in these kinds of decisions recently, and this was the first time the protocol was required.
After viewing several replays from different angles and zooming in, Kettleborough gave the decision as out, much to the visible disappointment of Gill and his partner, captain Rohit Sharma, and the thousands of Indian fans at the ground. The entire process took less than three minutes. The Indians were quite unhappy with the decision but had no option. They had already exhausted their review.
This incident again stirred up controversy regarding the Decision Review System (DRS). While some people believe that DRS has made the decision-making process more accurate, some argue that it still needs to be 100% reliable, and sometimes decisions like these can sway the game’s result in the wrong direction. However, one thing is for sure, the decision made by Kettleborough was unbiased and was taken after a thorough examination of the replays from different angles.
“Yes, definitely, more time could have been taken [to verify if it was a clean catch] because it is a World Test Championship final and not just a normal match,” Shami said later. “You could have checked more and zoomed in more. But it’s okay, it’s part of the game.” That was a sentiment – that it is part of the game – that Shami would repeat later.
It was Green’s second outstanding grab of the Test, after the spectacular one he took stretching to his right at gully to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings, though he did also drop a far simpler chance earlier in the game. “At the time I definitely thought I caught it,” Green said of the Gill catch. “I think in the heat of the moment I thought it was clean. It was left up to the third umpire and he agreed.”
The Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey, one of the players close enough to the catch, also thought the correct decision had been made. “It looked good from where I was,” Carey told BBC’s Test Match Special. “I thought he caught it fair and square. He was pretty happy with it, so the right decision was made.”
Green was the recipient of boos from a sizeable and noisy crowd of India supporters throughout the day and chants of “cheat” each time he was involved with the action. It didn’t faze him. “The Indian crowd are so passionate, and obviously, one of their favourite guys, Shubman Gill got out, and I think that’s what they were all kind of looking forward to watching, so it is what it is, and we move on,” Green said.
Only time will tell whether Indian cricketer, Shubman Gill, will face any consequences for his recent controversial tweet. The situation has become even more complicated due to Clause 2.7 of the ICC’s code of conduct which makes it abundantly clear that even social media posts come within the jurisdiction of what constitutes a code breach. The ICC is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the sport and its players, which means that any actions that could tarnish it must be dealt with strictly.
While it is unclear what the outcome of this situation will be, the ICC will inevitably take appropriate actions to maintain the image and reputation of the sport. The incident reminds all players to exercise caution and sensitivity on social media, as even a single post can have serious consequences.
“For the avoidance of doubt, any posting by a Player or Player Support Personnel of comments on a social media platform (including, without limitation, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn) shall be deemed to be ‘public’ for the purposes of this offence. Consequently, a Player or Player Support Personnel may breach Article 2.7 where they criticise or make an inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an International Match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match Official or team participating in any International Match in any posting they make on a social media platform.”
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