New Delhi: Fast bowler Irfan Pathan said that he saw the Indian players angry for the first time after the 2008 Sydney Test. The pulsating match has earned infamy in the years for several reasons, one of which was the umpiring howlers.
Umpire Steve Bucknor, who was at the centre of the storm and whose career at the top level of cricket practically ended in the wake of his performance in that match, recently spoke about the game and the effect it has had on his life.
Pathan, who was part of that Indian team, said that regardless of what Bucknor has to say, the fact remains that India lost a Test because of mistakes by umpires.
“No matter how much you accept your mistakes, what’s done is done, we lost the Test match. I remember, I played my first Test in Australia — that was in Adelaide, my debut game [in 2003] — and we won that Test after 21  years in Australia. And am I losing a Test match, just because of umpiring errors? Not going to make any difference, no matter what umpires say now”Pathan said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“As a cricketer, we’re used to getting bad decisions, sometimes in our bowling, sometimes in our batting. And we get frustrated by that, and then we forget about it. But this Sydney Test match, it was not just one mistake. There were about seven mistakes that cost us the game. There were mistakes where Andrew Symonds was playing, and he got out nearly, I remember, three times, and the umpire didn’t give him out.”
Bucknor refused to give Symonds out caught behind while he was on 30. He went on to score 162 and turned the match in Australia’s favour.
“He was the Man of the Match; we lost by 122 runs. If only one decision against Andrew Symonds had been corrected, we would have won that game easily,” Pathan said. “It was not just frustration. For the first time, I saw Indian cricketers were angry. Fans had only one thing in mind — that they [umpires] were doing it purposely. Obviously, as a cricketer, we can’t think like that”said Pathan.
“We’ve to think, ‘OK. These things happen, and we’ve to move forward’. But seven mistakes? Are you kidding me? That was unbelievable and indigestible for us.”