Angry Koertzen lashes out at 'cheating' batsmen

Rudi Koertzen

Koertzen and West Indian Billy Doctrove incurred the media wrath because of their inconsistency in referring controversial decisions to the third umpire during the Lord's Test which England won.

"It is a shame that you have to do it that way. The players will stand there, nick the ball and wait for the umpire to make a decision. For me, that's cheating," Koertzon told 'Cricinfo'.

The umpiring duo had referred Australian Nathan Hauritz's claimed catch of Ravi Bopara to the third umpire but later refused to send England captain Andrew Strauss' controversial catch of Phillip Hughes upstairs.

"Why don't you get off the field and make it easy for the game? There would be more pleasure in the game. I know that Ponting would say, 'Boys, let's try (accepting the umpires word)'," he said.

"I've been in those meetings when he said, 'Let's try it,' and then you get to the second day in a Test match and a guy claims a catch and ten minutes later you hear, 'The ball didn't carry,' and then the argument starts again. Let's use the technology when it's there," he revealed.

Koertzon defended his decision of not referring the catch claimed by Strauss to the third umpire.
"So long as one of the on-field umpires are sure that the ball has carried, the decision will stay on the field. That's a protocol from the ICC. It's been in our conditions all the time. I would say at the end of the day, the best way of doing it now is to go upstairs for all of them," he said.
Koertzen also said although cricket is considered a gentleman's game, it doesn't end up to be so on many occasions.

"It's supposed to be a gentleman's game but I can't always say it is. Guys know they can cheat and get away with things. I don't mean that with both those catches (Hauritz and Strauss) were trying to cheat. They probably believed that they caught it." he said.

Despite several heated exchanges between players and officials in the match, Koertzen said the second Test was played in the right spirit.
"I'm one of the umpires who do allow them a little bit of banter. You should talk to the batsman as a bowler. But in this Test match they were all friendly chirps. Not once did they say anything bad to each other.
"The spirit in this Test match was absolutely amazing. The Aussies play it very, very hard and they are the guys who put pressure on their opposition all the time. In this Test match there was nothing serious, nothing at all," he said.

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