When a catch by Mitchell Starc was overturned during the last session of the fourth day of the Lord’s Ashes Test on Saturday, controversy broke out. Ben Duckett and skipper Ben Stokes led a comeback for the hosts after England had already lost their first four wickets in the space of just 45 runs. The incident occurred in the 29th over, just two overs before the umpires decided to call stumps.
Australia continued to use their short-ball strategy against England’s batters, and when Duckett was unable to hit an accurate stroke, he found a thick upper edge that flew clean over the keeper. Starc made a sliding catch after the ball finally floated left of the fine leg area.
Starc remained still and grabbed the ball, dropping it onto the ground. Third umpire Marais Erasmus said the Australian fielder lacked control of his body during the catch because it appeared the ball had already touched the ground when Starc’s hand reached out to it. He ultimately revealed it, much to Starc and his Australian teammates.
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Mitchell Starc had much better control of that ball: Ricky Ponting
Former Australia seamer, Glenn McGrath who was broadcasting at the event, was enraged by Erasmus’ choice. The former Australian bowler referred to it as a “disgrace.” “That is the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever seen. He has got it under control. I’ve seen everything this game has to offer, if that is not out, then every other catch that has been taken should be not out. That is a disgrace,” McGrath said.
Former Australia skipper, Ricky Ponting expressed his displeasure with the call and criticized the umpire’s unclear decisions in cases involving similar catches. Ponting remarked that Steve Smith had more control in his catch of Joe Root than the Australian batter had during the first innings at Lord’s. “Mitchell Starc had much better control of that ball and for longer than when Steve Smith did when he caught Joe Root,” Ponting said on Sky Sports.