The first of the two-match Test series between Australia and Pakistan got off to a controversial start on Day 1 at The Gabba. As Pat Cummins steamed in to bowl the 55th over of Pakistan’s inning, he trapped lower-order batsman Mohammad Rizwan in front of stumps to leave the visitors reeling at 143-6. The dismissal, however, was a close call as the two on-field umpires decided to refer the decision to third umpire Michael Gough.
In spite of replays clearly indicating no part of Pat Cummins’ foot is behind the white line, the third umpire made a major blunder by calling it a fair delivery. Rizwan, who was looking comfortable at 37, was then adjudged “out” to add to Pakistan woes on the opening day. According to ICC’s regulations for international umpires, the benefit of the doubt regarding front foot no-balls should always go to the bowler if the footage is inconclusive. In this case, though, Pat Cummins’ foot was on the line at the time of release, indicating it an “illegal delivery”.
Regarding the controversial decision, many former Australian cricketers have voiced their opinions. Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee were among the few who stated that it was an illegal delivery and the Pakistan team were robbed of a valuable wicket. The cricketing action, however, continued throughout the day as Pakistan were all out for 240 before stumps. Mitchell Starc was the pick-of-the-bowlers for Australia as he picked 4-52 in 18.2 overs.