Umpire Hill defends bad light decision

Australia

Umpire Tony Hill defended his and colleague Marais Erasmus' decision to curtail play on day four of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester due to bad light.

Umpire Tony Hill defended his and colleague Marais Erasmus' decision to curtail play on day four of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester due to bad light.

Proceedings were called off at 16:46 local time, despite the use of the floodlights, moments before England fast bowler Stuart Broad returned to the attack.

The decision annoyed captain Michael Clarke, who had hoped to increase Australia's total of 171 for seven – and 331-run lead. Hill and Erasmus had informed host skipper Alastair Cook play could continue if spinner were bowled. However, Cook declined.

"We try and play as long as we can," Hill said. "We were able to stay out a heck of a lot longer under the lights – but when we started losing it (tracking the ball) completely from square leg, we gave the skipper (Cook) the option to use spin, and he didn't want to do that,"

"The playing conditions changed a few years ago so it's now our decision. We try and communicate and let everybody know," added Erasmus. "For a while there England's fielders were asking about the light and the possibility when they bat. It was fine by then but it kept dropping, dropping, dropping."

The right-handed, on 30 not out when stumps were drawn, had a heated conversation with the official in the middle. The England players, meanwhile, returned to the pavilion.

"He asked us 'why suddenly?' We actually communicated with each other (Erasmus to Hill) in that particular over so it wasn't a sudden decision. We were monitoring the light all the time – it's not just something that we just suddenly decided," concluded Erasmus.

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