During the ongoing Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday, Steve Smith was seen engaging in a heated argument with on-field umpire Nigel Llong.
While Smith was batting during Australia’s innings on day 1, Llong called a delivery from New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner as “dead Ball”. The ball hit the Australian batsman on the ribs as he tried to take a run off it before the umpire dismissed the delivery.
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Wagner was continuously throwing short deliveries to Smith and hit the batsman twice. While on both the occasions Smith tried to take a run, the first one did not escalate to an argument between the cricketer and the umpire. However, the former Australian captain lost his cool after Llong called the next delivery a dead ball.
Smith was left furious by the decision as it cancelled the run he had taken. The game’s law suggests that a ball will only be deemed as a dead ball if the batsman doesn’t take an evasive action and the 30-year-old batsman argued that he took an evasive action and the run should be allowed.
The situation went beyond the boundary ropes as former Australia spinner Shane Warne was also seen criticising Llong from the commentary box.
“Well, the umpire’s wrong. Steve Smith has every right to be angry because the interpretation Nigel Llong is giving at the minute is incorrect,” Warne was quoted as saying by Foxsports.au.
“The rule is if you evade a short ball and it hits any part of your body you are allowed to run even if you do not play a shot. I am sure someone is going to have a chat with Nigel Llong in the lunch break because Steve Smith is livid and rightly so,” Australia’s highest-ever international wicket-taker added.