Sir Alastair Cook made no effort to hide his displeasure after being given out caught behind at a pivotal stage of Essex’s Bob Willis Trophy final clash against Somerset.
The former England opener is always a prized wicket for the opposition, but particularly so in this game. The left-hander was fresh off a fluent 172 in the first innings, and with Essex only needing a draw to seal the title after claiming a first-innings lead, his obduracy looked to be the main obstacle in Somerset’s way as they attempted to pick up 10 wickets in two and a half sessions.
Cook made serene progress before lunch, going into the break unbeaten on 29, but added only three runs to his score before being given out caught behind by umpire Russell Warren off the bowling of Lewis Gregory. After the ball passed his bat, Cook seemed unfussed as Somerset appealed, looking down and remarking his guard, and he seemed surprised when he looked up to see the finger raised.
Cook stood at the crease for a while with his hand on his hip in teapot fashion before walking back to the pavilion with a wry smile, shaking his head as he went. Fans and pundits noted both the atypical reaction from the normally phlegmatic Cook and the questionable nature of the decision, though with no UltraEdge and the only footage grainy and un-zoomed in, it’s hard to tell for sure.
— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) September 27, 2020
This could have been a real showpiece conclusion to a good tournament, but now sadly it’ll be remembered for a stinking umpire decision against the best player on the county circuit.
The @ECB_cricket @SkySports @BBCSport have made a huge balls up here. Why isn’t this televised?
— Jason Hoskins (@JasonHo94454369) September 27, 2020
Some wondered whether the Decision Review System should be employed if the first-class showpiece is retained going forward.
Alastair Cook was not happy with that dismissal. Clearly felt he didn't hit it. If finals like this are, as expected, to become an annual fixture, they should have DRS
— Chris Stocks (@StocksC_cricket) September 27, 2020
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the dismissal, it set up a thrilling finale, with Somerset needing seven wickets to claim their maiden first-class title, and with the action live-streamed, Cook’s loss could be county cricket’s gain, should the season receive the thrilling climax it deserves in front of a big virtual audience.