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Botham blows up over no-ball wicket overrule, Smith average drops below 60: Talking Points

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16th January, 2022
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Sir Ian Botham blew up over third umpire Paul Reiffel’s decision to overturn Chris Woakes’ dismissal of Alex Carey due to a marginal no-ball ruling.

Woakes thought he had bowled the Australian keeper for 19 to reduce Australia to 7-92 on a tense third afternoon of the fifth Test in Hobart.

But after several close-up looks at the English seamer’s front foot, Reiffel ruled there was no evidence in the replays to show any part of his boot was behind the bowling crease.

Botham was furious and the former English all-rounder found an ally in former ICC umpire of the year Simon Taufel.

“It has to be conclusive evidence to overturn it and for me, it wasn’t,” he said during Seven commentary.

When asked if he would have made the same ruling as Reiffel’s controversial call, Taufel said he would not have done so.

“Conclusive evidence is required for that front-foot no-ball to be called. The third umpire did take a long time and a lot of replays to analyse and look at that. And that often is a fairly good indicator that if you don’t get conclusive evidence up front, it’s really hard to overturn and rule that that’s an unfair delivery.”

Another English great, Mike Atherton, thought Reiffel made the right call.

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“I don’t think you could say definitively on any replay that a part of the foot was behind the line,” he said on on SEN Radio.

It was the third time this series that England have taken a wicket off a no-ball and then it was overturned – Ben Stokes bowled David Warner in Brisbane and Marnus Labuschagne was caught off Ollie Robinson in Adelaide.

Smith average dips below 60

For the first time since 2017, Steve Smith’s Test average is now below 60.

The Australian vice-captain’s dismissal for 27 from a Mark Wood bouncer on day three of the fifth Test in Hobart dropped his average to 59.87 in his 82nd match.

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He has only scored 244 runs at 30.5 for the series with a highest score of 94 in Adelaide, one of only two half-centuries.

It is the first time he has not hit a century in an Ashes series since his maiden series against England in 2010-11.

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