Josh Hazlewood faces official sanction after obscenity recorded against third umpire
Australia’s Josh Hazlewood was breathing fire in the morning session on the fourth day in the ongoing Christchurch Test against New Zealand, in more ways than one. His aggression, misdirected at third umpire Richard Illingworth in the last over before lunch, was recorded by stump microphones and recorded by TV videos and is likely to land him in trouble.
Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson were carrying on their overnight partnership from Day 3, as the hosts inched their lead into three figures. The Australian bowlers were at their probing best under cloudy conditions, but were finding it an increasingly frustrating session. In the 73rd over, Hazlewood lost his cool.
With Williamson on 88, and with six balls left till the batsmen could retreat into the lunch break, Hazlewood got him to tumble over and fall on the pitch with a vicious yorker. The ball had hit Williamson’s pad, and the Australians were convinced they had got their man.
Umpire Ranmore Martinesz ruled the batsman not out, and they immediately asked for a review. Third umpire Richard Illingworth was called in, and despite initial replays suggesting that the ball would go on to crash into the batsman’s stumps, HotSpot showed that the ball had made contact with the bottom of the bat before hitting the pad.
The original decision stayed.The Australians could not believe it, and Steve Smith approached the umpire, asking for an explanation. His team had not spotted the mark at the bottom of the bat when HotSpot was being shown on the big screen.
Television footage appears to show Smith saying: "It hit his f...king foot." He then turned in disgust and walked away. Hazlewood, before returning to his run-up, confronted umpire Martinesz, “What!? It hit his foot ... who the f..k is the third umpire!?
His anger did not go down well with the on-air Kiwi commentators, and it may not go well with ICC either. If the incident is reported by the umpires, Hazlewood faces charges for a Level 2 offence, which is to 'show serious dissent against an umpire's decision'. The possible penalty of Level 2 offences range from 50 % match fee deduction to a 1-Test ban or 2-ODI ban. Considering that Hazlewood has not been reported before, he is likely to be let off with a fine.
Hazlewood was mocked by the crowd after lunch, with cries heard of 'Watch that Language!'
Williamson was dismissed soon after for 97 though, as a batting collapse ensued and a late batting resistance took the target to 200.
"Who's the third umpire?" yells a man in the crowd as Hazlewood comes back into the attack. #NZvAUS— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) February 23, 2016
Josh Hazlewood is pure anger. He's either about to burst a blood vessel and have a stroke, or transform into The Hulk. #NZvAUS— Alt Cricket (@AltCricket) February 23, 2016