Australian pace bowler Josh Hazlewood pleaded guilty to a dissent charge and was subsequently fined 15 percent of his match fee after launching an expletive-laden tirade when a decision went against him in the ongoing second Test versus New Zealand on Tuesday.
With New Zealand battling to build a second innings lead in the first session on the fourth day, Hazlewood was convinced he had trapped Kane Williamson lbw only for umpire Ranmore Martinesz to deny the appeal.
Captain Steve Smith asked for a review, though ‘hot-spot’ technology showed Williamson, the key wicket the Australians needed in their push for victory, had got a thin inside edge onto his pad, so ball tracking was not examined.
The big screen did not show a clear picture of the hot-spot and Hazlewood exploded, with stump microphones capturing his tirade. Smith then confronted Martinesz mid-pitch.
Williamson, who had an earlier lbw verdict overturned, fell for 97 after lunch as the hosts posted a total of 335, giving the visitors a 201-victory target.
Australia reached 70 for one at the close of play.
The outburst from Hazlewood, and ‘teapot’ impersonation by Smith dominated social media afterwards. The fast bowler pleaded guilty later to showing dissent, a team spokesperson said.
“We probably thought it was out, but those 50-50 calls either go your way or they don’t,” said Australia bowler Jackson Bird, who took career-best figures of 5-59.
“Test cricket is a hard game and tempers can rise and people can get frustrated sometimes. If we did overstep the line, the match referee and the on field umpires and the ICC are there to adjudicate that.”
Tuesday’s incident was the latest where technology has created an issue on the field between the two teams.
During the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide last November, third umpire Nigel Llong failed to give Nathan Lyon out despite hot-spot technology showing he had clearly hit the ball before a catch was taken.
In the final one-day match in Hamilton earlier this month, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was dismissed after the crowd saw a replay on the big screen that showed he had been caught and bowled by Matt Henry and promptly issued a chorus of boos.
Umpires Ian Gould and Derek Walker heard the crowd reaction then asked third umpire Sundaram Ravi for a review, which confirmed the dismissal and prompted an angry reaction from the Australians.
In the first Test in Wellington, Doug Bracewell bowled Adam Voges for seven only to be called for a no-ball by umpire Richard Illingworth. Replays showed the delivery was legal.
Voges went on to score 239 that set up their massive innings and 52 run victory.
New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who was batting with Williamson at the time of the latest incident, said the big screen replays had not been that clear for the players.
“I know from the big screen there’s a few bits and pieces (that) are harder to tell,” he said.
“I know we’ve been on the end of those where you want a wicket so badly and you want something to happen...and it doesn’t quite go your way.
“It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.”