Pakistan coach curses umpiring and technology after Boxing Day Test defeat

Mohammad Hafeez claims his side were the better team at the MCG but technology and officiating decided result in Australia’s favour

Dec 30, 2023 - 02:10
Dec 30, 2023 - 03:13

Pakistan claimed they were the better team in the Boxing Day Test, but believe technology decided the outcome of Australia's 79-run win.

Pakistan coach Mohammad Hafeez has launched a scathing attack on the officiating in the Boxing Day Test, claiming his team lost to Australia over match-deciding technology.

In a fiery postscript to Australia's 79-run win on Friday, the former Pakistan spinner questioned the consistency of deciding the match. He was also particularly upset about the match-turning dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan, who was adamant that he should not have been caught out late in the chase.

Hafeez said, “Our Pakistan team generally played better than other teams. “Our batting intent was good, our bowling was hitting the right places.

"Yes, we made some mistakes that we lost the game. But as a team I believe there were a lot of right positives in the team to win the game. I believe inconsistent umpiring, the curse of technology, really gave us a result that should have been different."

Hafeez admitted that Pakistan did not help themselves with a number of errors, including the crucial drop of Abdullah Shafiq to Mitchell Marsh on the third day. But he also called for the umpire's call on ball-tracking lbw decisions to be removed, as Pakistan were on the wrong end of four such decisions in the loss.

"We play this game for the fans, and the fans will never understand why this technology is incompatible," Hafeez said. “We have played the fundamentals of playing this beautiful game of cricket, but sometimes technology makes decisions that we as humans cannot understand. A ball hitting the stumps is always out. I never understood why it was the umpire's call.

In a Test match full of drama, the flashpoint came in Rizwan's dismissal off a Pat Cummins delivery as Pakistan were 5-219 chasing 317 to win. Rizwan was initially given not out, before the third umpire adjudged that the ball had gone over his glove and wristband to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

The Pakistan batsman immediately pointed to a mark on his arm, where he believed the ball had hit him. It proved the turning point of the match, with Pakistan losing 5-18 in 6.4 overs to surrender the series 2-0.

Hafeez said, “He (Rizwan) is a very honest person and he told me that he didn't even think he touched it anywhere near the gloves. “There has to be conclusive evidence to reverse an umpire's decision … and there was no evidence of a very conclusive kind. Technology is basically cursing the beautiful game of cricket.”

Australian captain Cummins was blunt in his response to Hafeez's claim that Pakistan was denied victory as the best team. "Cool. Yeah, they played well, but we're happy to win," he said. "It doesn't really matter, does it? In the end, that team will win.”

Cummins also defended the umpiring in the match and the use of technology throughout the game, after he was dismissed for a controversial catch behind earlier on Friday. He said, “We completely disagree (with what Hafeez said).

“I mean, isn't it a perfect science, DRS or umpiring? Some go your way, some don't. There were a few umpire calls for both teams. I think it all worked itself out. I thought this game was pretty 50-50, so we don't have too much to worry about."

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