As if humiliating our current side isn't enough.

The Australian cricketers are trying to wriggle out of a controversy which is said to have wrecked the test career of a player 30 years ago.

Apart from the underarm incident, there is no more infamous moment in trans-Tasman cricket than the Greg Dyer no-catch in 1987.

It occurred during the MCG test when Australian wicketkeeper Dyer was awarded a leg side catch from Andrew Jones' bat, when replays clearly showed he dropped the ball and regathered it.


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One of Dyer's team mates, fast bowler Mike Whitney, has now claimed it was the umpires who got it wrong, not Dyer.

The stain on Dyer was so great that the incident played a huge part in his international career quickly coming to an end, Whitney told Fox Sports.

"I'm at fine-leg when that happened, so I watched him dive across to the leg-side and it was pretty much right in front of me and I couldn't quite see but I thought he caught it," Whitney reckoned.

"So he ended up with the ball in his hand – this is never spoken about – and he looked at Dick French, who was at square leg, and basically said 'I don't know if I've grabbed that or not' and Dick French nodded and then nodded at Tony Crafter, who then put his finger up.

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"I've never heard anyone talk about that.

"They all say Greg Dyer dropped the ball and then claimed the catch. He never claimed the catch at all. He held it up at the square-leg umpire, who nodded and said 'yes' and then nodded to Tony Crafter.

"They've never mentioned the umpires that they made a mistake because there was a camera angle that showed it hit the ground and then rolled back into his glove and he didn't really know."


After initially lauding the catch, TV commentator Tony Greig quickly opined: "Dyer has claimed a catch which doesn't look to me as if it was one,

Dyer's opposite Ian Smith, now a top commentator, didn't see the non-catch live.

"I saw replays afterwards. It didn't look good. We were a bit disappointed about it. It just wasn't clean and it got a bit ugly," Smith said.

"It didn't look good and it was replayed so many times that it proved conclusive in the end."

Umpire French is infamous for giving Craig McDermott not out to a rock solid lbw appeal as Australia clung on to save the game and win the series.

But he can probably be forgiven the Dyer incident, despite Whitney's claim.

Many observers would argue that Dyer indeed knew he had spilled the ball and rather than informing the umpires – whose view would have been obscured by his dive - he hoped they had not noticed.

Dyer - who went on to become the Australian Cricketers Association president - may prefer to let sleeping dogs lie, so it is hard to know whether he will be grateful to Whitney or not.

Whitney, who was captained by Dyer in the New South Wales team, said it was "pretty much the end of his (Dyer's) career".

"He played a couple more games and it just finished him. People calling him a cheat and a liar.

"We turned up the next day after that and there's this big sign at the MCG: 'Dyer's a liar.'

"I felt really bad for him, and it wasn't really his fault. He didn't know whether he caught it cleanly."