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Cricket Australia ask ICC to explain Khawaja call

Brydon Coverdale at Old Trafford
August 1, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Usman Khawaja was given out caught behind, a decision upheld on review to the amazement of Australia © PA Photos
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Cricket Australia has asked the ICC to explain why Usman Khawaja's dismissal was upheld after a decision review that appeared to show no evidence that he had edged behind off Graeme Swann.

Khawaja was visibly mystified by the outcome of his referral, shaking his head as he walked off following third umpire Kumar Dharmasena's decision to back Tony Hill's on-field call of out. There was no mark on Hot Spot and the raw vision, while not conclusive, appeared to suggest that the ball had not made contact with Khawaja's bat.

"Cricket Australia has sought an explanation from the ICC on the dismissal of Usman Khawaja," Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement. "In our view, the on-field decision and referred decision using DRS were both incorrect. CA remains a strong supporter of DRS and believes it is important that cricket continues to improve and build confidence in the DRS.

"We understand and accept that from time to time mistakes can be made, however in this instance, on behalf of the player, the team and all cricket fans, we feel duty bound to seek further explanation as to how this decision was arrived at."

The DRS is designed not with the idea of giving the benefit of the doubt to the batsman but the on-field umpire's call, which meant that Dharmasena had to be completely certain that Hill was wrong in order to overturn the decision. Chris Rogers, who was at the non-striker's end when the dismissal occurred, said even the England players appeared resigned to Khawaja staying at the crease.

"He said he didn't hit it and I said he didn't hit it. That was about it," Rogers said. "I was up the other end. Even in real time I didn't think he hit it; I didn't think he was anywhere near it. The umpire must have had a different view on it. I thought it was not out and that's why we reviewed it. From what we saw on the replays I think even the England guys had given up hope of it being out. It was disappointing and another question-mark.

"It's a weird thing because it's people's careers on the line as well, so you want these decisions to be right. I felt for him, but it's been happening so we've just got to get on with it and not worry about that and try to have a good day."

Rogers said despite the apparent error costing Khawaja his innings, there was still a place for technology in assisting umpires. "I still think it's important," he said. "We want technology to make sure these decisions are correct. Sometimes it goes for you and sometimes it goes against you. You just have to take it."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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