Cricket: History loses its appeal

By David Leggat

Some pieces of history have more appeal than others. Ask Daniel Flynn.

The New Zealand lefthander became the country's first victim of cricket's latest rule in Dunedin yesterday.

On 95 in the first test against the West Indies, Flynn was struck on the leg by a ball bowled by Windies captain Chris Gayle. When his appeal for a leg-before-wicket dismissal was turned down by umpire Amish Saheba, Gayle sought a referral to the third umpire in the stand.

The International Cricket Council regulation, still in the experimental stage, allows teams to appeal against an umpire's decision.

There is no limit on the number of successful appeals that can be made. But after three unsuccessful appeals, the team loses the right for the rest of the innings.

Saheba, umpiring his first test, referred the appeal to the third umpire, South African veteran Rudi Koertzen who, after a couple of minutes watching the slow-motion replays, signalled Flynn was out.

The batsman looked shattered; Gayle and his team were delighted.

"The West Indies boys were asking how I was feeling," Flynn said of his time awaiting the judgment call.

"Once it started dragging out, the nerves started creeping in."

Gayle's gut feeling at the time was the appeal was "pretty close".

"It's something new so we'll see how well it benefits the game, but so far everything is successful for us."

This is the second series for the rule; it will also be used in the Australia-South Africa series starting soon.

In the first series, between Sri Lanka and India in July-August, 48 appeals were referred to the third umpire and 12 succeeded.

Replays show yesterday's decision was fair, as the ball struck Flynn in line with the off stump.

- NZ Herald

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