CENTURION: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was on Friday given an official warning and fined one demerit point for showing dissent at a controversial decision by television umpire Joel Wilson on the third day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the sanction in a statement issued after the match, which South Africa won by six wickets.
The statement said: “The incident happened in the ninth over of South Africa’s second innings when Arthur, after TV umpire Joel Wilson had decided in favour of Dean Elgar, entered the TV umpire’s room and showed dissent at Mr Wilson’s decision by first questioning him and then storming out of the room.
“After the match, the Pakistan coach admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee David Boon. As such, there was no need for a formal hearing.”
The charge was laid by Wilson.
The incident came at a crucial stage of South Africa’s successful chase of a target of 149 when the hosts were 16 for one and both Elgar and Hashim Amla were struggling against Pakistan’s new-ball bowlers.
Elgar, on four, edged new bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi low to first slip where Azhar Ali appeared to take a diving catch.
On-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Sundaram Ravi conferred before referring to television umpire Wilson with a ‘soft’ signal of out, indicating they thought it was a clean catch.
After looking at several replays, including super-slow close-ups, Wilson ruled the ball had bounced and Elgar was reprieved. He went on to make 50 and shared a partnership of 119 with Amla which virtually ensured South Africa’s win.
The decision clearly astonished the Pakistan players and Arthur was seen leaving his place on the players’ balcony and going to the adjacent office of match referee Boon.
“I’m convinced he was out,” said television commentator Michael Holding. “I think the third umpire made a mistake. The protocol says you have got to be 100 percent sure the decision was wrong to change it.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said after the match: “The third umpire thought it bounced. The on-field umpires thought it was out and for me it was a clear catch.”