Glenn McGrath rages over controversial Mitchell Starc Ashes drama

The Aussie legend was fuming over the decision, which has divided the cricket world.

Glenn McGrath speaks during commentary and Mitchell Starc takes a catch.
Glenn McGrath (pictured left) labelled the decision to overturn Mitchel Starc's catch (pictured right) as a disgrace. (Images: BBC/Twitter)

Aussie cricket legends Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting have been left bewildered after Mitchell Starc was denied a clear cut catch on day 4 of the Ashes. Australia battered their way into supremacy on day 4 with England in trouble at 4-113.

Ben Duckett had just brought up his 50 when he top edged a bouncer from allrounder Cameron Green. Starc raced around the boundary and took what appeared to be a clear catch with two hands, before planting his hand on the grass and sliding to save himself from face-planting.

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The Australians celebrated what they thought was the critical wicket of Duckett as he walked off in disbelief. However, the third umpire then halted the Aussies' celebrations as word filtered down they were checking if Starc had control of the ball.

And in stunning scenes, the third umpire overruled the catch because Starc had slid across the turf with his fingers not securing the ball from underneath. Despite Starc clearly having control of the ball and using the momentum to stop him smashing into the ground, the image of the ball sliding across the grass was enough to overturn what appeared to be a straight forward decision.

Starc was left flabbergasted at the decision with captain Pat Cummins approaching the umpires about the call. However, the Marylebone Cricket Club moved to clarify the rules and deemed that a catch is only completed when the fielder has "complete control over the ball and his/her movement. The ball cannot touch the ground before then."

Despite the ruling, the images didn't sit right with some fans. Aussie cricket icon Glenn McGrath was particularly filthy with how it unfolded. “That is the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever seen,” McGrath said on the BBC.

Mitchell Starc and the Australians argue with the umpire.
Mitchell Starc (pictured left) and the other Australian players were confused to why the catch was overturned. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images) (IAN KINGTON via Getty Images)

“He has got that ball under control … if that is not out, then every other catch that’s ever been taken should not be out. That is a disgrace.”

Ricky Ponting wasn't any happier. “I must admit, I’m a little bit confused,” Ponting said on Sky Sports commentary. “Where are they judging when and how the ball is under control?”

Cricket fans divide over Mitchell Starc catch

While many of the Aussie legends thought it was a clear cut chance, fans watching on were divided. Some felt Starc didn't have control as he slid, while others felt the Aussies were hard done by. South African cricketer Faf du Plessis was stunned the decision was overruled.

Starc may have been 'robbed' of a catch, but he produced one of the balls of the series so far on his way to two wickets and to leave England reeling heading into day 5. England are chasing 371, but were left stranded at 4-114 at the end of play.

Australia's efforts were summed up when injured spinner Nathan Lyon came out to bat at No.11, despite hobbling on his calf. "You never know how how big a 15-run partnership can be in an Ashes series. I'm proud of myself for going out there and doing that," Lyon said. "It was my call. I spoke to Ron (coach Andrew McDonald) and Patty (Cummins).

"Patty was probably a little bit hesitant but at the end of the day I'll do anything for this team, and I'd do it again tomorrow.

"I love this team. I love playing cricket for Australia. And if I can keep playing my role and help out my teammates here and there. I'll do that."

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