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Cricket star in controversial return to Somerset
4:54pm Friday 31st August 2012 in Somerset
IT just wasn’t cricket when Indian spinner Murali Kartik returned to play against his former county Somerset.
Kartik, who left Somerset at the end of last season, was about to bowl when he ran out non-striker Alex Barrow, a former student at King’s College, as he backed up out of his crease at the non-striker’s end.
Umpire Peter Hartley asked if Surrey wished to withdraw the appeal, but skipper Gareth Batty refused, leaving the umpire no choice but to give Barrow out.
Kartik’s actions on the third day of the four-day match, which ended on Friday, are within the rules but generally regarded as contrary to the spirit of the game.
Afterwards, Surrey director of cricket Chris Adams said: “It is one of those laws of cricket that you generally don’t uphold.
“But following what Batty believed at the time was right, I have to support him in that and I do.
“If we’ve breached – and clearly we have breached – the spirit of cricket, then we thoroughly apologise for that.”
Former Somerset wicketkeeper Steve Snell, who was watching, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my nine years in the professional game.
“It’s really bad sportsmanship and I’m shocked by it.
“He was acting within the laws of the game, but it’s an unwritten rule that you just don’t do it.
“I know there was some ill feeling. I can’t see how he isn’t embarrassed when he looks at what he’s done.”
Supporters were incensed by what happened.
‘Tractor’ said: “I didn’t find it very entertaining. I thought it was a shame considering he was one of our old boys. It was a little bit embarrassing. Thank goodness he didn’t do it when he was playing with us. It was fantastic that everybody booed him at the same time.”
Geoff Landon: “The umpires came out of it with good credit by asking if Surrey wanted to remove the appeal. But they had no choice, even though they didn’t want to give Barrow out. It’s against the spirit of the game.”
Father Michael Derrick: “It’s well within the letter of the law. Kartik did warn Barrow before. But it’s totally against the spirit of the game and really soured the whole atmosphere. Some people were badly incensed. Abuse was thrown at the Surrey players as they went back to the pavilion, which was rather bad. It could have been avoided if the captain had withdrawn the appeal.”
Martin Brush: “It was disgraceful. I’ve followed Somerset for about 45 years and played league cricket and never seen anything like it in all my life. It’s like he had something in for Somerset. When he left he said he was going back to India to be with his family and wouldn’t play in England.”
Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender: “I thought, with objective analysis over time, it was a poor decision. I think Chris Adams’s comments really reflected the understanding that with a different level of analysis perhaps a different decision might have been reached.”
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