Adam Voges gets involved in comical controversy; Australia deny player wore gloves while fielding
Australia’s Adam Voges was embroiled in an on-field controversy on Day 1, but the Australian team are reportedly fuming at the allegations brought against their star batsman. He was charged with cheating, but it now appears that the incident in question was an optical illusion – bringing about a comical misunderstanding.
The trouble erupted on Day 1 of the ongoing New-Zealand Test, just after Voges had taken a catch to dismiss Corey Anderson just before tea. The well-set Anderson was batting on 72 and had given Brendon McCullum able support as the Kiwi bludgeoned his way to Test cricket’s fastest century in his farewell match.
With only one over remaining before the tea session on Day 1, Anderson had a moment of madness – stepping out of the crease and attempting a wild heave across the line to a wide ball from Nathan Lyon. The bat turned in his hand, and Voges gratefully held on at cover.
Australian players milled around Voges in relief as the Kiwi assault on them seemed to be coming to an end, but they had no inkling of the storm that was brewing on the social media. Replays of the Anderson dismissal suggested that Voges was wearing a fabric on his hands when taking the catch – a fabric that looked like a pair of surgical gloves.
This incited a storm of protest, from both Kiwi fans and neutrals, as cricket rules stipulate that no fielder other than the wicket-keeper is allowed to wear gloves. Fielders can only stop the ball or catch it with their body, such that even if the ball hits the player’s cap, the fielding team will be penalised five runs. Even if the fielder wears protection on his hands, like bandages, he must ask permission from the umpires.
Therefore, if Voges had indeed caught the ball while wearing surgical gloves, Anderson would not have been dismissed, and New Zealand would be awarded five runs.
However, the funny part of this controversy is that Voges was not wearing gloves at all. A close-up of the moment when Voges took the catch showed that he was, in fact, wearing a tanned coloured tape on his right wrist. Both his hands are of the same colour.
The choice of the colour of the wristband Voges wore was not a very good choice, as it led people to confuse it with the player’s own skin’s colour, but it seems that this was the extent of Voges’ misdemeanour.
Voges will resume batting for Australia on Day 3, as the visitors trail by 7 runs, but with 6 wickets still in hand.