'Embarrassing for Australia': Uproar over 'pathetic' Ashes farce

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
An on-field umpire, pictured here in action during the first Ashes Test between Australia and England.
On-field umpires were forced to make all calls at one stage at the Gabba on Friday. (Image: Jason O'Brien/PA Wire via AAP)

Cricket officials were facing an embarrassing crisis on Friday during the first Ashes Test when all technology was unavailable at one stage at the Gabba.

On Thursday it emerged that the technology that third umpires use to check for front-foot no-balls in real time wasn't working.

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The technology fail culminated in farcical scenes when Ben Stokes repeatedly overstepped before he was finally found out after dismissing David Warner.

It was revealed that the third umpire was only able to check for no-balls after a dismissal, which saw Warner handed a massive reprieve.

England were left fuming that third umpire Paul Wilson hadn't alerted the on-field umpires that Stokes was repeatedly offending, which may have allowed him to correct things before the Warner dismissal.

But it was later explained by Cricket Australia that Wilson didn't have the technology that should have been available to him.

It means the onus reverted to the on-field umpires to check no-balls, as was the case before the technology was introduced at the women's Twenty20 World Cup in 2020.

Things then got even worse on Friday morning when all technology went down at one stage during the first session on the third day's play.

Speaking in commentary for Channel 7, Ricky Ponting revealed to viewers that the Decision Review System (DRS) was unavailable for a brief period late in Australia's first innings.

With the review system unavailable to either side, the umpire's on-field decision was final.

Luckily for England and opening batsman Rory Burns, officials managed to rectify the situation and DRS was available again when the tourists started their second innings.

Mitchell Starc, pictured here celebrating the wicket of Rory Burns before it was overturned.
Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of Rory Burns before it was overturned. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Burns was given out lbw for what would have been a king pair, only for third umpire Wilson to overturn the decision after Burns used DRS.

However Wilson still didn't have use of the Real Time Snicko (RTS) portion of DRS, which allows third umpires to check if the ball has hit the bat.

Nevertheless, the farcical situation caused some uproar.

Cricket broadcaster Paul Dennett tweeted: "All technology is currently down so no DRS possible.

"This is pathetic. Embarrassing for Australia".

Travis Head leads Australia to 278-run lead

Australia took a mighty 278-run lead into the second innings after being dismissed for 425 on the third day of the Ashes opener.

Travis Head was the last man dismissed at the Gabba on Friday morning, bowled by Mark Wood for 152.

Having resumed on 112, after scoring the third-fastest century in Ashes history on Thursday, Head maintained his aggressive streak and reached the 150 milestone with a boundary off Jack Leach.

The South Australian's knock came off just 148 balls and featured 14 fours and four sixes.

His last boundary off Leach took him past the 150-run milestone and also brought up an unwanted century for the left-arm spinner, who conceded a whopping 102 runs off 13 overs for the lone wicket of Marnus Labuschagne.

Australia began the day at 7-343 and extended their lead past 200 before Mitchell Starc (35) was the first wicket to fall.

The fast bowler and Head added 85 runs for the eighth wicket before Starc chipped a shot straight to Rory Burns at deep square leg off the bowling of Chris Woakes.

Nathan Lyon provided extra nuisance value, scoring 15 off 24 deliveries before top-edging a pull straight to Ollie Robinson for Mark Wood to get a deserved wicket.

Robinson (3-58) and Wood (3-85) were the pick of the English bowlers, with Woakes taking 2-76.

with AAP

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