'Worst umpiring of all time': Aussie star's controversial dismissal baffles cricket world

Steve Smith endured a frosty reception from the crowd during his magnificent century to lead Australia to a 12-run victory, but it was his bizarre dismissal that had the cricketing world scratching their heads.

Smith silenced the jeers from the Southhampton locals and was sitting on 116 runs when he dug out a ball back to England seamer Tom Curran.

Curran caught the ball and half-heatedly appealed.

But in confusing scenes Smith caught everyone off guard and started walking.

“He thinks he’s out,” the commentators said as Smith walked.

Curran appeals after catching Steve Smith. (Images: Fox Sports)
Curran appeals after catching Steve Smith. (Images: Fox Sports)

But after seeing replays, the commentators thought Smith changed his mind and wandered back towards the crease.

Replays suggested it was a bump ball with Smith hitting it into the pitch before arriving into Curran’s hands.

But the third umpire saw it differently and gave Smith out.

“Is he giving this out? Really?” Mark Nicholas said. “Do you think that’s out?”

“I didn’t see anything but the ball bounce off the pitch and back to the bowler,” Michael Slater added.

The decision also baffled those watching from home.

Having initially walked off the pitch, Smith put the controversy behind him so quickly that by the end of the day he couldn’t recall how the delivery.

“How... oh, it was caught and bowled! Sorry,” he told reporters when asked about the dismissal.

“I’ve forgotten about it already. I’m not sure, it was just a leading edge. I can’t really say much else.”

Although the match was only a warm-up fixture against an undermanned England side, Smith’s brilliant 116 to put the rest of the world on notice.

His celebrations to mark the century were muted, given it was not an official match, but while there was applause from the 11,500-strong crowd there were also plenty of boos from the stands.

"It's water off a duck's back and it doesn't bother me. I try to black it out,” Smith said.

"They call it 'white noise'. When I'm out in the middle I don't pay attention to the crowd or what they're saying," he added after top-scoring in a total of 297 for nine.

Khawaja, who scored 31 batting at five, said his former NSW teammate is so zoned-out when he bats, the boos were a waste of time.

"Smudger batted beautifully and takes everything in his stride," Khawaja said.

"I have known him a long time and he is such a lovely kid. It's great to see him out there and scoring runs as I know how much he loves the game.

"I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he didn't hear any of it. It is hard enough even for me to get something out of him when he is batting."

with agencies

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting