Skippers disagree about Stokes dismissal


The controversial dismissal of England batsman Ben Stokes in the second ODI at Lord's on Saturday saw the impassioned debate continue well after the game, as Australia skipper Steve Smith and counterpart Eoin Morgan disagreed.

Stokes became the first England player to be given out for obstructing the field in an ODI, when he put his hand out to stop a shy at the stumps by Mitchell Starc. The ball hit his gloved hand instead, and Australia appealed.

After a brief deliberation, and a check by the third umpire, the rule stating a batsman cannot intentionally prevent the ball from hitting the stumps was upheld. Stokes was sent packing, and Morgan was furious.

He was batting at the other end, and he and Smith immediately started an animated debate, and after the match Morgan said it wasn't intentional from Stokes. As such, he shouldn't have been given out.

Morgan said: "My interpretation of it was that his (Stokes) reaction wasn't deliberate.

"I feel that the ball was thrown so fast that you can only react in a way that defends yourself and he put his hand up to protect himself and followed the ball.

"How you can interpret is open but certainly I didn't think it was deliberate."

Smith disagreed, saying the ball was nowhere near hitting Stokes: "I think if you look at it, from what I saw, the ball was going towards the stumps and it wasn't even going to hit him.

"He’s put his hand out to stop the ball."

All that being said, Morgan didn't try to blame his side's defeat on the incident, as they were well short of the 310-run target, having lost by 64 runs.

Morgan added: "I don't think it was the winning and losing of the game. I think we probably let ourselves down early on with the ball, we weren't disciplined enough.

"I think it offered a small bit, not a great deal but a small bit that if we'd made early inroads it might have put more pressure on Australia and from there they built a really good one-day innings.

"So from the back-end where Mitchell Marsh took the game away from us, probably got 25 too many.

"Again we got off to a good start with the bat and Australia asked the same questions of us that they asked in the Rose Bowl and we didn't come up with a good enough answer.

"They certainly have a well drilled plan of how they go about their one-day cricket and it’s very good. We have to come up with some answers, certainly as soon as we can."