Monday 26 June 2017

Cricket: Porterfield escapes fine as common sense prevails

William Porterfield. Photo: Getty Images
William Porterfield. Photo: Getty Images

Gerard Hughes

William Porterfield got into trouble by asking for common sense to be applied at the World Cup -- but yesterday the Ireland captain got some from the International Cricket Council when he escaped with a reprimand for criticising umpire Asoka de Silva.

In the wake of Gary Wilson's controversial lbw dismissal against the West Indies, Porterfield let his considered opinions be known to the world's press. In a nutshell, he said De Silva made a mistake.

"Even if the umpire thought he wasn't offering a shot at the time of the original lbw decision, when he's seen the replay on the big screen and it's clear that he is, surely common sense should prevail," argued Porterfield.

There was more, but it wasn't a rant and Porterfield didn't say anything that wasn't obvious to anyone who saw the sorry departure of Ireland's last real hope in Mohali. Nevertheless, it was criticism, and that isn't allowed by the ICC.

Porterfield could have been fined 50pc of his match fee, but perhaps with a nod to the reality of the situation for once, match referee Roshan Mahanama issued the lightest penalty possible after the Ireland captain accepted the charge.

"Although it may not be unusual for a captain to feel aggrieved or frustrated by what he feels is a rough decision, it does not give him any right to criticise the umpire as William did," said Mahanama.

"The umpire's decision is final and it is a long-standing pillar of our game that the match officials should receive absolute respect for their decisions.

"In giving my verdict, I took into account that this was William's first such offence."

It was an even-handed judgment that even Arsene Wenger may have been able to accept.

However, there was not such good news for Ireland on another front when Andre Botha was briefly taken to hospital after suffering from food poisoning for five days.

The bowler looks set to miss today's game against South Africa, which would be particularly unfortunate for Botha as he was born in Johannesburg and enjoys playing against his former countrymen. His absence would mean that Ireland have yet to go into any World Cup match with more than two players born overseas.

Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that Ireland will take part in a tri-nation series with Sri Lanka and Scotland in Edinburgh from July 11-13.

"It's great for us to face a side of the quality of Sri Lanka. They are one of the best sides in the world and they are just the sort of opponent we need," said coach Phil Simmons.

"Ireland need to play more one-day internationals between World Cups to give us the experience we need to perform and excel at these tournaments."

Ireland v South Africa,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 9.0am

Irish Independent

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