Cricket umpires must do more to defuse situations: Katich

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    The conduct of everybody involved in the spiteful first Test between Australia and South Africa in Durban is under the microscope, including the umpires.

    Steve Smith’s side will travel to Port Elizabeth on Tuesday with a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, but the vast majority of the post-match analysis is centred on something that didn’t happen on the field.

    David Warner and Quinton de Kock’s extraordinary altercation, in which Australia’s enraged vice-captain was physically restrained by teammates at tea on day four, remains the talk of the cricket world.

    The International Cricket Council is yet to reveal any sanctions from the game, with the exception of Nathan Lyon being fined 15 per cent of his match fee for a send-off of AB de Villiers.

    However, Warner remains in hot water as match referee Jeff Crowe has until midnight on Wednesday (AEDT) to level charges.

    The sport’s governing body can also charge players, as was the case when ICC chief David Richardson booked du Plessis for using a mint to shine the ball in Hobart.

    Crowe has already warned both camps about the need to play the game in the right spirit.

    Warner and de Kock are obviously under the pump to behave better, but Simon Katich is among those pondering whether umpires Sundaram Ravi and Kumar Dharmasena could have done more to extinguish the blow-up when it was starting to catch fire.

    “This is where the umpires need to step in as soon as they start to hear stuff,” former Australia opener Katich told ESPNcricinfo, having called the match.

    “Give the warnings to the skippers and get the skippers to control it.

    “That obviously hasn’t happened, and now it is tit for tat with the teams blaming each other for who started it.

    “It’s a shame because what happened on the field obviously lit the fuse for then what has happened off the field. It has overshadowed what was a fantastic Test.”

    Former South Africa spinner Paul Harris agreed on both counts, saying “the umpires might need to have a bit more of a say”.

    Du Plessis expressed similar sentiments to Katich in his post-match press conference.

    Ravi and Dharmasena delivered few lectures in the first Test, with the exception of rebuking Kagiso Rabada for his send-off of Warner on day three.

    Katich noted it was important Crowe now “nips this in the bud”.

    “If it is allowed to keep going on, then things are going to get out of control as we saw in the tunnel,” he said.

    “I look back on my time and I think things might have been pretty tame compared to this stuff.”

    Crowe will remain in the hot seat for the second Test that starts in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

    Ravi will be on third-umpire duty when South Africa attempt to level the series, with Dharmasena in control alongside Chris Gaffaney.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • March 6th 2018 @ 12:29pm
      rl said | March 6th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

      Absolutely agree, as long as umpires aren’t then hung out to dry like Darryl Hair was.

      • March 6th 2018 @ 1:05pm
        Pope Paul VII said | March 6th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Dazza didn’t give a hoot about sledging and gamesmanship..

    • Roar Guru

      March 6th 2018 @ 1:40pm
      Paul Dawson said | March 6th 2018 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

      This is absolute rubbish from Katich. Test cricket has spent the last two decades gradually culling back the authority and power of test umpires – and match referees don’t mean spit anymore, not since Mike Denness realised in 2002 that when push comes to shove you can’t discipline the Indian cricket team. Or anyone else for that matter, really.

      When I’m umpiring I never get involved in the banter – in fact I try and say as little as possible, and only say anything if a player asks me to get involved after a remark – and that’s generally just to remind players we’re here for fun, let’s keep it clean and above board.

      Umpires shouldn’t be out there telling players to watch their mouths – how about players act like adults, take responsibility for what they say, and cop any fines sweet if they say something they’re not supposed to.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 7th 2018 @ 11:38am
        Pedro The Fisherman said | March 7th 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

        Mike Denness’ failure to do his job has led us to this point!

    • March 6th 2018 @ 8:30pm
      John Erichsen said | March 6th 2018 @ 8:30pm | ! Report

      I am sure the umpires have plenty of important duties to do while they are on the field, without trying to eavesdrop on every bit of banter that is delivered. They probably don’t hear half the snipes and the lecturing of Rabada is clear evidence that action is taken when an incident is identified. Lyon’s fine is another example of how the visual displays are considerably easier to detect than a smart-ar*e sledge as batsman and fielder pass mid pitch, well away from the ears of the two officials.

    • March 7th 2018 @ 7:52am
      Jameswm said | March 7th 2018 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      Warner was apparently sledging de Kock non stop for an hour. He was still going when they came off for tea.

      The part we heard on the boundary was aimed at de Kock and not his family, but it was personal and low. Having copped that for an hour I can understand the response and Warner needs to cop it better.

      I think the umpires AND the captains need to do more to tone it down. Faf and Smith need to meet and set ground rules.

      • March 7th 2018 @ 10:43am
        rl said | March 7th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

        James, I respect they way you’ve moderated your thoughts on Warner since yesterday. But the glaring issue to me (other than the actual behaviours of both players) is that the Aussie Capt and Coach were so strident in accusing the Sth Africans of ‘blatant lies’ and have now been completely and utterly found out.

        Faf came out of the whole sorry mess looking pretty reasonable. Smith and Boof have been made to look like complete tools, because they both know EXACTLY what happened but chose to defend it.

    • March 7th 2018 @ 9:40am
      Roger said | March 7th 2018 @ 9:40am | ! Report

      It’s up to the captains to set the standard.

      Smith’s limp wristed, mealy mouthed explanation of “as far as I’m aware” and “the boys tell me” type stuff is laughable.

    • March 7th 2018 @ 2:18pm
      DLKN said | March 7th 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

      Here’s a thought – how about the players themselves take responsibility for their own actions? Novel idea, I admit, but maybe worth a try?

      If they put their hands out for a grown-up salary, it would be ideal if they behave like the grown-ups they claim to be.

      Or do Warner and deKock honestly believe that they’ve brought honour to their countries this week?

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