Pakistan have 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 stinging attack on the management of the Boxing Day Test, claiming his side only outperformed Australia because technology decided the game.
In a fiery follow-up to Australia’s 79-run win on Friday, the former Pakistan spinner questioned the consistency of decision-making in the game. He was also particularly upset by the game-winning sending off of Mohammad Rizwan, who was adamant that he should not have been given out if he was caught late in the chase.
“Our Pakistan team generally played better than the other team,” said Hafeez. “Our batting intent was better, our bowling hit in the right areas.
“Yes, we made some mistakes that led to us losing the game. But as a team I think there were a lot of good reasons within the team to win the game. I believe inconsistent refereeing, a curse of technology, actually gave us a result that should have been different.”
Hafeez admitted that Pakistan couldn’t help themselves with several mistakes, including Abdullah Shafique’s crucial drop off Mitchell Marsh on the third day. But he also called for the referee’s authority to overturn ball-tracking LBW decisions after Pakistan were on the wrong side of four such decisions in the defeat.
“We play this game for the fans, and the fans will never understand why this technology is inconsistent,” Hafeez said. “We have played this beautiful game of cricket based on the fundamentals of the game, but sometimes technology brings decisions that we as humans do not understand. The ball that hits the stump is always out. I’ll never understand why it’s the referee’s decision.”
The crucial point in a Test match full of drama was Rizwan’s dismissal after a Pat Cummins attack, with Pakistan chasing 317 for victory with 5-219. Rizwan was initially not given out before the third umpire ruled that the ball carried the wristband on his glove to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
The Pakistan batsman immediately protested, pointing to a mark on his forearm where he thought the ball had hit him. It was the turning point in the game as Pakistan lost 5-18 in 6.4 overs, overcoming a 0-2 series deficit.
“He (Rizwan) is a very honest person and he told me he didn’t even feel it touched the gloves,” Hafeez said. “There should be conclusive evidence to overturn an umpire’s decision… and there hasn’t been very conclusive evidence. “The technology is basically cursing this beautiful game of cricket.”
Australian captain Cummins reacted bluntly to Hafeez’s claim that Pakistan, being a better team, were denied victory. “Cool. Yes, they played well, but I’m glad we won,” he said. “It doesn’t matter, does it? It’s the team that wins in the end.”
Cummins also defended game refereeing and the use of technology across sport after being extradited for a controversial setback on Friday. “We don’t completely agree with what Hafeez said,” he said.
“I mean it’s not a perfect science, DRS or refereeing? Some go your way, some don’t. There were a few referee calls for both teams. I think it all evens out. I thought this game was pretty much 50-50, so there’s nothing that worried us too much.”