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Yet Again, Justice Has Been Served Down Under

by achettup

Incident - Bowler tries to field, gets in non-striker's way. Who's at fault? I've always heard that it should be the non striker who tries get out of the fielder's way.

Well Brad Haddin didn't seem to think so. And he makes it quite clear by...

Incident - Batsman unnecessarily creates a confrontation with the bowler, points his bat at him. Who's at fault? No point asking Haddin, even clinching video evidence doesn't seem to convince him that he could be wrong. But its pretty clear there is only one person who instigated the confrontation.

Incident - Batsman drives back to bowler who picks up the ball and hurls it back. Who's at fault? I've always thought this is a rather stupid thing to do, but a lot of bowlers seem to keep doing it and I can't recall anyone being punished for it.

Incident - Bowler goes across to have a chat (thats kinda putting it lightly, but thats the way these incidents have been described in the past when the bowler was McGrath, Donald, Flintoff etc) with the batsman after his over. Who's at fault? The bowler of course, but just as much as the batsman was for provoking him a few balls earlier with that unnecessary exchange.

Incident - Bowler's hand accidentally brushes one of the batsman who actually positioned himself directly in between himself and the other batsman in the confrontation. Angry batsman shoves the bowler aside. Who's at fault? Even if someone did deliberately knock you with their arm, shoving them is hardly the best way to react, and because you have deliberately reacted physically, you have out yourself in the worst possible light and deserve to be penalized at the same level (or above in the event that the original knock was accidental) for bringing the game into disrepute.

That all seems pretty straightforward. Three idiots on the cricket field, all acting rather deplorably, but its worth pointing out that it was Haddin who made this an incident in the first place and that Johnson took things to another level. All three should be penalized equally at the very least, unless Johnson gets the stiffest penalty for deliberately engaging an opposition player in a hostile physical manner. Right?

Well, not according to the subcontinental team's favorite match referee, Chris Broad. Broad decided to hand Haddin and Johnson level one offences while handing out a level two offence to Benn. What this means is the most Johnson and Haddin can lose is 50% of their match fees, while Benn will lose between 50-100% of his fees and/or possibly be banned for a match. Naturally suddenly "everyone" is talking about what a nasty and "unusual" character Benn is. Nobody seems to think its worth talking about Haddin's hilarious conduct earlier in the year and Johnson's constant runs in with batsman who dispatch his mostly ordinary bowling.

While it might have left a few West Indian's scratching their heads, it certainly wouldn't have surprised players who represented India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the early 2000s when Broad seemed hell bent on penalizing them with whatever he could think of while ignoring similar offences by players from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.  For a former player with one the most disgraceful reputations in the game for his own conduct on the field, he sure does an awful lot to try and curb aggressive behavior in the middle. Oh, did I forget to add, only just not as much to cricketers from certain countries. Because you know, like Steve Bucknor said, some are more equal than others.


Homer said...


Clarke to Gambhir, no run, full ball with plenty of room, driven out to mid-off, Clarke moves across and takes out Tendulkar with a tackle, pulling him down. Tendulkar finds it amusing, and that's the sort of tactic we use in beach cricket

Suleiman Benn could have learnt from this.. That he didnt means he deserves his punishment!


straight point said...

kaano mein andha raja...

Leela said...

And remember the Gauti & Shane Watson incident after which Gauti got suspended?

Homer said...


The match referee on that occasion - one BC Broad!


achettup said...

Homer, I think the difference there is Tendulkar chose to find it amusing and his partner certainly didn't go after Clarke like a rabid dog! Looking again at the video on I now think it was a lot worse than it looked at first, Haddin certainly went out of his way and Johnson seemed to shrug Benn's arm even before it made contact with him and then proceeded to quite rudely shove him aside. How that doesn't deserve a one or even 6 match ban but Virender Sehwag and a few others got a heavy punishment for allegedly "over appealing" baffles me... no not really, Chris fucking Broad rescues my sanity!

achettup said...

SP, you might find the article linked below written way back in April of 2005 highlight's Broad's exemplary Match Refereeing!

achettup said...

Exactly Leela, I tried putting the link in my comment to SP, but forgot to make it clickable, it has a nice list of the guy's "judgments" upto April 2005 and also a nice recap of his ugly career as a cricketer.
Click here for the article

Homer said...


Which is why Benn should have tackled Johnson to the ground while fielding. That way, there would have been no run, Haddin would not have had the opportunity to wave his bat, and none of the rest would have happened. Also, there was precedent so papa Broad could instead have focused on his petulant son's performance in South Africa instead of having to earn his corn and sit through a hearing.

I say ban Benn for 5 tests!


Sujan Rao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sujan Rao said...

There's the video for who missed :)

Poor Benn got penalized.
Speaking of Broad, he's just a joke .. Infact even the icc now

Homer said...

Thanks for the link Sujan.. Wonder if Chris Broad will act against Ricky Ponting for the shove on Dwayne Bravo.. After all, it is not dissimilar to the Gautam Gambhir Shane Watson incident!


Thiru Cumaran said...

A very interesting article, Achettup.

I was actually breezing through the cricinfo report about the fine (as I do with most other Cricinfo reports), but I didn't catch the name Chris Broad, else I would've said, in my post about the Haddin Benn incident

The funniest part was that Johnson wasn't taking issue to it, it was the prick Haddin.

It reminds me of Sydneygate, when Harbhajan gave a friendly pat to Lee on the bum, but Symmo took issue to it when Lee shrugged it off...

Thiru Cumaran said...

Watched the full video posted by Sujan Rao and it's interesting to hear Mark Nicholas saying that Johnson shoving Benn away initially with his shoulder is just an accident.....what stupidity from the biggest show-pony commentator around...

Tifosi Guy said...

Here's what I would like to see the next time Haddin comes to bat.

Gayle gives the ball to Roach and says BEAMER :-)

After all if you immediately apologise and look at your fingers it's OK. Lee does it all the time and gets away with it.

And as a bowler it takes two beamers before you can't bowl.

As to the link, the only sane Australian in that clip was Mark Taylor who defended Benn's initial reaction. What transpired after that was all Haddin's doing. But ofcourse he's an angel !!

Jonathan said...

CT, I didn't hear the annoying voice of Nicholas on that clip - I think it was Healy, and I'd say he was actually pointing out that Benn didn't deliberately hit Watson while pointing to start with, which I think most would agree with.

Having said that, you'd think someone who gets upset about a bat pointed at him would be a bit more careful with his own pointing arm.

Homer, I think you'd find it hard to find someone who didn't agree that Broad is inconsistent, but it would be just as inconsistent to reverse all the decisions - which ones do you think are right, or don't you think it matters?

Achettup, I've never heard the suggestion that the non striker needs to get out of the way, or that tackling Clarke or Benn-style was ok, but it did seem that Haddin had more problems with it than Benn or Johnson!

Mahek said...

Haddin was only standing up for his mate like any self-respecting Australian would. I wish Roach had come around the wicket and taken Haddin's head off like any self-respecting fast bowler would.

When will Broad take a page out of Procter's book and go back to working for the ECB? Hamsters would make better match referees than those two. I would've said chimpanzees but then the Aussies would have called me racist.

Sujan Rao said...

There you go, as we all expected Benn has to take it all at the end. Geek Mitche n prick Haddin get away.

Breaking news this hour : Sulieman Benn has been banned for two one-day internationals , Haddin has been fined 25 per cent of his match fee while Johnson has been fined 10 per cent.

Homer said...


If we all agree that Broad is inconsistent, why is he on the Match Referee Panel?

The man suffers no consequences for his actions, instead he gets paid for making bone headed and may I say, partisan decisions.


Jonathan said...

Homer, have you got any reason to believe the ICC values consistency? I'm still interested to hear what you think of this incident without comparisons, but perhaps you (quite reasonably) think it doesn't matter where the lines are drawn as long as they are consistent.

Homer said...


Shorn of any precedents, the laws, as mandated by the MCC and endorsed by the ICC, state

Law 37.1. Out Obstructing the field
Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully obstructs or distracts the opposing side by word or action. It shall be regarded as obstruction if either batsman wilfully, and without the consent of the fielding side, strikes the ball with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, after the ball has touched a fielder. See 4 below.

2. Accidental obstruction
It is for either umpire to decide whether any obstruction or distraction is wilful or not. He shall consult the other umpire if he has any doubt.

Law 42

5. Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman
In addition to 4 above, it is unfair for any member of the fielding side, by word or action, wilfully to attempt to distract or to obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball.
(a) It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction or obstruction is wilful or not.

(b) If either umpire considers that a member of the fielding side has wilfully caused or attempted to cause such a distraction or obstruction he shall

(i) immediately call and signal Dead ball.
(ii) inform the captain of the fielding side and the other umpire of the reason for the call.
(iii) neither batsman shall be dismissed from that delivery.
(iv) 5 penalty runs shall be awarded to the batting side. See 17 below. In this instance, the run in progress shall be scored, whether or not the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the call. See Law 18.11 (Runs scored when ball becomes dead).
(v) the umpire at the bowler's end shall inform the captain of the fielding side of the reason for this action and, as soon as practicable, inform the captain of the batting side.
(vi) the ball shall not count as one of the over
(vii) the batsmen at the wicket shall decide which of them is to face the next delivery
(viii) the umpires shall report the occurrence as soon as possible to the Executive of the fielding side and any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and player or players concerned.

In either case, it is for the umpires to decide on whether the interference was intentional or not.

So where does Brad Haddin get off getting into a slanging match with Benn? And what was the whole purpose of pointing his bat at him?

There are rules, there are umpires to arbitrate on the rules and the match referee is the final arbiter.

So where does Chris Broad get off when he bans Suleimann Benn for 2 ODIs but penalizes Haddin 25% of his match fees?

And lets not cite priors - neither player has one! :)


Mahek said...

I thought Haddin had a precedent from the incident with Neil Broom.

Jonathan said...

Haddin clearly thought there was something wilful there, but as you say it is not his job to say so, and he has acknowledged that in several contexts.

Benn kept it up doing pretty much the same thing as Haddin but in a reckless manner as someone stepped between them. I would consider that more serious as an offence than Haddin, perhaps not worth a ban, but then it wouldn't have been with a guilty plea.

Johnson clearly crossed the line, in my opinion. Perhaps the umpires and Broad accept the "he started it line", but I don't.

Having said that, I do think Haddin and Benn were the idiots in this case. The idiots aren't always the ones that cross the line most obviously.

Homer said...

Worth a read

raj said...

Jonathan, I hear you about the consistency to laws. But lets just say the world will be a happier place if inconisstency consitenyly applies across nations.
If inconsistency means that you have one rule for subcontinent/WI and another for NZ/Aus/SA, then it is worth questioning that.
Why is Chris Broad's inconsistency always leads him to punish Asians/WI but leave Aus/SA/NZ with lesser punishments? Havent we seen enough of him to make a reasonable case that it is more than inconsistency? Bias, perhaps.

I am not sure if you are fighting shy of acknowledging that but you know what, we'd really appreciate if such things are ack-ed by reasonable Aussies/Englishmen. Instead, if we hear the same old "its just inconsistency - he just happened to make a mistake in the Asians' case so we should not expect him to make the same mistake against Aussies", then we lose trust in the fairness of your countrymen. I say this because you come across as more reasonable. it just sounds like brushing under the carpet, to me.

Jonathan said...

Raj, I would love to blame Broad, because his inconsistency looks a lot worse than simply making mistakes. Unfortunately for such an argument, it appears that the umpires have at least as much to do with it.

Leaving that aside, my point about inconsistency is not that is is excusable. I'm not at all saying it's "just inconsitency". Rather, my point is that (in my opinion) inconsistency is shown up more effectively by consistent commentary on the events, than by simply complaining about every decision which goes against some precedent. The track record is so ridiculous that we could complain about just about anything on those grounds. Sure, point out inconsistency and bias when you see it, but I'd like to hear more people demonstrating a consistent position as well as asking for one.