Now I am a big cricket fan and English. So you might think I am going to take a biased view of Ben Stokes' dismissal in yesterday's ODI. Well I'm going to disappoint you.

I've watched and re-watched the dismissal in both normal speed and slow motion. And I've read the comments from both Australian and English fans. Well I have an opinion and having a blog I feel I am valid in giving it. And my opinion is that I would not have argued with the umpires if they had given him NOT OUT and I am not arguing with them for giving him OUT,

Ben Stoked prevented the ball from having a chance to break the wickets. That is a fact. Whether it would have hit the stumps is irrelevant. He prevented it from reaching that far. Now the question is whether the action was deliberate. On a personal note I do not believe that it was but I can understand when people think it was. He did almost catch it after all.

So it is a judgment call and isn't that what we have umpires for? These men are there to make the judgment calls. And it wasn't as though one of them made a snap decision. There was an on field debate and then they went to the third umpire and he used all the technology he had and between them they made a decision.

You can agree with it or not but it's the system. And yes it did affect the game. But games can turn a dozen times on many such incidents -  dropped catch, a mishit drive.

I am sorry England lost. And I am sorry that there was controversy that marred a good win for the Australians. They played well and they played to the letter of the law - surely the professional thing to do. After all these guys are professionals. We are long past the age when the gentlemanly thing was the key driver of cricket.

No one walks when they know they are out on a marginal decision any more - not unless the umpire gives them out. And often not even when the out is a blatant one. Stuart Broad got away with a corker in a previous Ashes series. But he played the letter of the law and waited for the decision. Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith did likewise in my opinion and good for them, They are supposed to play this game to win after all.

It is sad that the phrase "It's just not cricket" no longer has any relevance to the game itself but if that's the case then it should apply all round.

So - do I agree with the decision - not wholeheartedly, I saw enough doubt in it for me that it was deliberate. Do I accept the decision - YES.

Now let's move on. Australia are two nil up in the series. Hopefully England can use this to fire them up for game three.


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