Umpires’ call puts spanner in Oz works | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Umpires’ call puts spanner in Oz works

Australia built a lead of nearly 300 against England when rain forced an early tea on the fourth day of the third Test at Old Trafford on Sunday.

cricket Updated: Aug 05, 2013 00:00 IST

Australia captain Michael Clarke was furious after the umpires took players off the field for bad light in the third Test against England here.

Australia, who at 2-0 down in the five-match series have to win this match to stand any chance of regaining the Ashes, were 172 for seven in their second innings -- a lead of 331 runs, when umpires Marais Erasmus and Tony Hill called a halt at 4.26pm (local time) on the fourth day. Alastair Cook was asked if he could use spinners but he refused to do so.

Although the floodlights were on, the umpires decided conditions were too dangerous to continue with pacemen.

Earlier, the umpires would ‘offer’ the light to the batsmen to see if they wanted to continue or not. But a change to the regulations in October 2010 left the issue solely in the hands of the umpires after concerns had been raised the old system was unfair to the fielding side.

Erasmus’s joint TV interview with Hill was booed by angry fans when replayed over the giant screens at Old Trafford.

Clarke, 30 not out when play was halted Sunday, had a prolonged conversation with South African official Erasmus.

Earlier, Australia dismissed England for 368 on the fourth morning to take a first-innings lead of 159. The visitors began well with David Warner in flow but then kept losing wickets.