Glenn Maxwell's record-breaking century in the second cricket T20 between Australia and the West Indies was overshadowed somewhat by a bizarre sequence of events that denied the Aussies a runout on Sunday night. Maxwell blasted 120 from just 55 balls at Adelaide Oval - the fastest century in a T20 international on Australian soil ever (50 balls).
The swashbuckling all-rounder smacked eight sixes and 12 fours in his masterful knock, which propelled Australia to 4-241 and a 34-run victory. His 50-ball century broke Rilee Rossouw's previous record on Australian soil, after the South African notched a 52-ball ton against Bangladesh in Sydney at the World Cup in 2022.
Maxwell jointly holds the overall record of 47 balls with Aaron Finch and Josh Inglis for fastest T20I century anywhere around the world. The 35-year-old Maxwell also equalled Rohit Sharma's record for most centuries in T20 internationals with five.
However the remarkable knock was overshadowed by strange scenes in Australia's bowling innings, when they were denied a wicket because umpire Gerard Abood deemed that no-one had appealed. Alzarri Joseph hit a ball straight to Mitch Marsh at extra cover and ran, with the Aussie captain throwing the ball to Spencer Johnson at the non-striker's end to whip the bails off.
Joseph was shown to be well short of his ground, but Abood called for play to continue because none of the Australians actually appealed. Johnson appeared to think Joseph wasn't out, and none of the Australians could be heard appealing on the TV broadcast.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 11, 2024
Abood looked around a number of times for an appeal, but when he didn't see or hear one he called for play to continue and didn't send the decision to the third umpire. The Aussie players were incredulous at the decision, with Marsh protesting with Abood.
Tim David could be heard telling the umpire that he did appeal, before saying "this is a joke." With a number of Australian players surrounding him, Abood said: "Guys, this is getting ridiculous. We're getting into really poor territory. Get on with the game."
Controversy erupts over bizarre non-decision
Abood was technically correct by the letter of the law. Rule 31.1 of cricket's laws states: "Neither umpire shall give a batter out, even though he/she may be out under the laws, unless appealed to by a fielder. This shall not debar a batter who is out under any of the laws from leaving the wicket without an appeal having been made."
But under rule 31.3, Abood might have erred in not letting the Australians appeal after the fact. The rule states: “For an appeal to be valid, it must be made before the bowler begins his/her run-up or, if there is no run-up, his/her bowling action to deliver the next ball, and before Time has been called. The call of Over does not invalidate an appeal made prior to the start of the following over, provided Time has not been called.”
Under the rule in question, 'Time' refers to the end of a session of play. That means the Aussies should have been allowed to appeal anytime before the next ball was bowled.
Cricket world divided over controversial umpiring decision
Speaking in commentary for Fox Sports, Mike Hussey said the Aussies should have accepted the decision sooner and moved on. “It’s not a good look for the young kids out there, you’ve got to accept the umpire’s decision and move on,” he said.
Maxwell said after the match: "The umpire deemed that no-one had appealed. And there was a few of us that thought we did appeal. That was basically just where the confusion is.
"And to be fair, I understand, it wasn't like a screaming appeal from everyone. But it was probably one of those things where you sort of just expect it to go up to the third umpire.
"We thought it was pretty close, and there were a few of us sort of putting their hands up. And basically we stopped, thinking that he (Abood) had sent it upstairs."
"Everyone was turned around watching the big screen and the batter had already started walking off. It was just confusing ... just a weird one, one of those weird rules in cricket. We should probably just be a little bit louder with our appeals."
Fans were also left divided over the incident. Many suggested Abood should have used the third umpire regardless of whether he heard an appeal or not because it would have resulted in the right outcome.
Surely for a run out it doesn’t matter if there’s no appeal.
If he’s out, he’s out? #AUSvWI
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) February 11, 2024
There is no requirement in either the MCC laws or ICC T20 international playing conditions that state an appeal cannot be made after a replay is shown on screen. As long as it is made by start of run up for next ball. #AUSvWI pic.twitter.com/IU6s3IrH5U
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) February 11, 2024
Oddly, didn’t see or hear Tim David appeal
You’re responsible to make sure the umpire sees or hears you #AUSvWI
— Callum #Whatever (@Bombers83) February 11, 2024
All players close to the action thought it was not out and no one appealed.
Ump prob thought it was close but since no one bothered to appeal didn’t bother to check with 3rd ump.
They all moved on and wasn’t until they saw a replay they decided to try and appeal.
— Jason Sman21 (@JasonSman21) February 11, 2024
It's a strange one, but technically it was correct. MCC Law 31.1 states there must be an appeal - but that applies to any dismissal. So technically even if you clean bowl someone and knock the stumps out of the ground, it's not out unless you appeal or the batsman walks.
— Michael Shillito (@tealfooty) February 11, 2024
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