The independent voice of cricket

England v New Zealand

‘His fingers are underneath the ball’ – Frustrated Stuart Broad remonstrates with umpire after Devon Conway ruled not out

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Stuart Broad was left frustrated after being denied a wicket on the second morning of the second England-New Zealand Test, with Devon Conway given not out despite England feeling he had been clearly caught by Zak Crawley.

With Broad having already claimed one wicket in his opening burst, that of stand-in captain Tom Latham, the tall fast bowler thought he had another, with the South African-born Blackcap edging to Crawley at third slip, who seemingly took an excellent low catch.

However, Conway stood his ground and on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough conferred and decided to send it upstairs. What’s more, despite England celebrating as if convinced the catch had been clean, the officials did so with the soft signal ‘not out’, lessening England’s chances of success.

“The third umpire has to find conclusive evidence to overrule,” said Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports Cricket commentary. “Broad not happy.”

As the replays were shown on the big screen, Broad and England’s supporters thought their case was a strong one, but TV umpire Michael Gough wasn’t convinced. There were cheers from the Edgbaston crowd, even as Gough said “I can see the ball is clearly on the ground. Your soft signal is not out, I can see the ball is clearly on the ground also.” The decision was ‘not out’, and Broad was left exasperated.

“His fingers are clearly underneath the ball,” he was caught saying by stump mic, remonstrating with the umpires and gesturing that that he felt the decision was the wrong one.

“Not happy, Stuart Broad. Not happy, the Edgbaston crowd,” said Hussain. “Broad wanted the soft signal, that was the absolute key there. The moment it was not out on the field, the third umpire probably felt he couldn’t overrule. Some would argue Zak Crawley got his fingers underneath the ball. Broad not amused. I reckon he got his fingers underneath that, but I fully understand why it wasn’t overruled.”

However, given how convinced Gough sounded, saying the ball had “clearly” hit the ground, it might be that the decision would have been not out even if the soft signal had been different.

Simon Doull was even more forthright at the lunch interval. “We’ve all played the game. We all know that was out,” said the former New Zealand bowler.

He also called for the soft signal to be removed from the game, as did former West Indies captain Jason Holder.

Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match awards, player interviews, analysis and much more.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99