Bailey: ‘I’d have done the same thing’

Australia

Australia batsman and former ODI skipper George Bailey has defended his team's decision to appeal against Ben Stokes, and says he'd have made the same decision as Steve Smith of he'd been in charge.

Stokes was given out for obstructing the field when he stuck his hand out and stopped the ball from hitting the stumps on a run out attempt. England captain Eoin Morgan said it was not deliberate, and Smith should not have appealed, or should have called the batsman back.

But Bailey says that is unfair, as Stokes was out according to the laws of the game, and that Morgan should then call back all other batsmen who are given out incorrectly, like an inside edge being given LBW, for example.

Bailey said of Morgan's comment: "He's obviously very emotional about it still – and that's fine, he was out there – but we think the ball was going to hit the stumps.

"He (Stokes) was out of his crease and he put his hand up when the ball wasn't going to hit him anyway.

"I think if the ball was going to go four metres wide (of the stumps), I don't think we would've appealed.

"It was the fact we thought the ball was going to hit the stumps. And if he didn't put his hand up we'd have known if the ball was going to hit the stumps.

"It's a big call for Eoin to say that (he would have withdrawn the appeal).

"I assume if that's how he feels then any time a batter nicks one onto his pad and gets given out lbw, or gets wrongfully given out caught behind, he'll call them back as well.

"That's his prerogative as captain."

Bailey, who used to be the ODI captain in Michael Clarke's absence, says he would have done the same things as Smith by upholding the decision: "I would've done (the same).

"The crowd got into it, which was great, but once the emotion is taken out of it I'm very comfortable with the fact we thought the ball was going to hit the stumps, he's out of his crease.

"To give it a different slant, if he'd hit the ball to cover and the throw was from cover and he was that far out of his crease and he put his hand up I think the same thing.

"Something similar did happen to the same bloke in the (Lord's) Test match, didn't it? That (getting back to his crease) might be something he needs to work on."

Of the actual call made by the umpires, Bailey added: "I think the correct decision was made.

"I don't think the ball was going to hit him. I think the ball was going to hit the stumps, and he was out of his crease.

"I don't think there was any need for him to put his hand up to defend himself."

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