The ArgusBen Brown column: I'm no cheat (From The Argus)

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Ben Brown column: I'm no cheat

It is fair to say it’s been an eventful week down at Hove. The game against Notts eventually petered out into a draw, with the flat wicket probably getting the better of both teams.

We owed a huge debt to Ed Joyce for his part in securing a draw. His innings was outstanding against a strong Notts bowling attack and was under pressure throughout after the opposition had posted a big score. I think if he played for England in the up-coming Test match he would, along with Ian Bell, be England’s best batsman. That is how well he is playing.

Sadly, though, the game might have attracted more attention for the controversial dismissal of Alex Hales on the first morning. It centred around whether or not a ball had carried to myself at first slip. At the time I was absolutely convinced I had caught it, as were the slip cordon and the two umpires who were in no doubt either. I should also add my stance on the catch hasn’t changed since. There was a photograph of the catch from an angle which looked bad on my part and I was quite shocked at how the camera made the incident look.

Having said that, it didn’t prove either way what had happened, as is often the case in these situations it leaves a lot to interpretation. The video evidence certainly supports my version of events and Hales thought the photo supported his claim. I spoke to Alex after seeing the photograph, explaining how convinced I was about the catch and that I was sorry if I was wrong in his opinion. What followed was pretty disappointing.

The Notts boys decided to vent their frustration on social media site Twitter, using their photo as evidence to suggest I had cheated Alex out. Of course the predictable abuse followed to my account from Alex’s followers and the other Notts boys who joined in the Twitter rant.

Verbals on the field were to be expected and I have no problem with that, it’s a man’s game and that is all part of the contest. What I find sad about the modern game is people turning to social media trying to drag the game or an individual’s reputation through the mud. To a certain degree I understand some of their frustration but I lost respect for some of their players for their handling of the incident, both on social media and around the game itself. It is always worth remembering there are far more serious things happening in the world than a disagreement over a cricket ball being caught at Hove.

On a much brighter note it has been a good week for two of our fast bowlers. At Hove we saw an exciting bowler make his Championship debut in Matt Hobden and in the same week we found out about Chris Jordan being included in the England Test squad for the first time. Well done to both lads, it is good to see the two most feared names in the nets are going well on the pitch too!

Finally, we had our World Cup sweepstake this week. It was organised and run by Luke Wright. Wrighty picked out Brazil. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions!

Comments (1)

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9:21am Sat 7 Jun 14

Max Ripple says...

I'm completely with you on this one Ben. As any county, club or pub cricketer will confirm, sometimes you are absolutely convinced that the ball has carried and you know it is a genuine catch. You appeal as you should, the umpire makes his call and without technology on such revered grounds such as Braypool or dog s**t park (Wish Road) for example, we all let it go and live with the decision. They say the camera never lies - but we all know that's not true and images can sometimes look like something they are not. It is sad that Notts players took this to social media and accused you of all sorts of things. In the end it makes them look like the "would be cheats" that they accused you of being. Hopefully they will reflect on this incident the next time they take a low catch or appeal for a split decision run-out. Even with technology to hand.
I'm completely with you on this one Ben. As any county, club or pub cricketer will confirm, sometimes you are absolutely convinced that the ball has carried and you know it is a genuine catch. You appeal as you should, the umpire makes his call and without technology on such revered grounds such as Braypool or dog s**t park (Wish Road) for example, we all let it go and live with the decision. They say the camera never lies - but we all know that's not true and images can sometimes look like something they are not. It is sad that Notts players took this to social media and accused you of all sorts of things. In the end it makes them look like the "would be cheats" that they accused you of being. Hopefully they will reflect on this incident the next time they take a low catch or appeal for a split decision run-out. Even with technology to hand. Max Ripple
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