Simon Taufel, the former ICC elite umpire, slammed the hypocrisy surrounding the Jonny Bairstow dismissal during the 2nd Test at Lord's.
Slamming the lack of consistency on some comments, Taufel said that people who do not like a certain dismissal in cricket often cite 'spirit of cricket' as an excuse. Bairstow's manner of stumping was condemned by the England captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, who said it was not in the spirit of the game.
While sharing his opinion on LinkedIn, Taufel wrote, "My experience is when people don't like a dismissal under the Laws of Cricket, they cite the Spirit of Cricket to support their view."
"Was Jonny Bairstow's dismissal at Lord's a breach of the Spirit of Cricket? Have you seen any umpire tell a fielding side that the keeper standing back is not allowed to attempt a stumping?"
"Was there a complaint from anyone when Bairstow tried to stump Marnus exactly the same way in the first innings? What has Jonny Bairstow said about his dismissal? He has been very quiet. Why?" he added.
The mode of dismissal opened up a debate about the spirit of cricket.
The Australian players were even subject to scrutiny from the local fans, with some even confronting them in the Long Room at Lord's, a video showing Usman Khawaja and David Warner engaged in a war of words with them.
Later, even the Prime Ministers of both countries chimed in to express their views on the controversy.
After ducking a slow bouncer from Cameron Green, Bairstow casually walked out of the crease thinking the ball was 'dead'. Australia wicketkeeper, Alex Carey, however, threw the ball at the stumps and appealed to the umpire. Marais Erasmus, the third umpire adjudged it in favour of the visiting team.
Taufel continued, "Which part of the codified Preamble (the Spirit of Cricket) was breached by the fielding side? What did the fielding side do in effecting a legitimate dismissal that unfairly impacted the ability of the batter in their attempt not to be dismissed? (Did they run into him or distract him or prevent him making good his ground?)"
"Should a batter be immune from dismissal as per the Laws by simply being negligent (and leaving his ground too early)?
"Did England retire Ben Duckett when they disagreed with the (Mitchell) Starc catch decision as per the Laws and umpires' decision?" Taufel said.
Australia eventually won the match by 43 runs and took a 2-0 lead in the 5-match Test series. The third Test will be played at Leeds from July 6.
(With inputs from PTI)