Anorak News | A Side Under Strain

A Side Under Strain

by | 6th, January 2005

‘AT the time of writing, England’s chances of saving the Third Test against South Africa are about the same as Abu Hamza carving out a career as a professional juggler.

And with him goes hope of an England recovery

And the news in this morning’s papers is decidedly gloomy for England fans with reports that Andrew Flintoff might not be able to bowl in the next two matches.

The Indy reports that the all-rounder is suffering from a side strain and was sent for a scan at the close of play.

“But,” it says, “bowling injuries in this area do not just go away and they can take up to six weeks to recover from.”

Coach Duncan Fletcher insists that it is just a bruise and is not the result of his being bowled too much.

But he will have been distinctly unhappy at the way in which England’s batsmen have played throughout this match.

If Andrew Strauss was unlucky to be given out lbw, then Robert Key (out stumped) and Michael Vaughan (caught hooking) have only themselves to blame for their dismissals.

There was certainly no need for a video umpire in either case, but in football the big talking point is again today over the use of technology to help referees.

The Telegraph canvasses a range of opinion in the wake of Spurs’ disallowed “goal” at Old Trafford – and predictably it is divided.

But referee Graham Poll comes to the defence of the linesman Rob Lewis, who failed to signal that, following Roy Carroll’s blunder on Tuesday night, the ball had crossed the line.

“His positioning was correct,” he argues, “his fitness enabled him to make up a lot of ground in the short time available and he was unable to say with any degree of certainty that the whole of the ball had crossed the line.”

If so, he must have been the only one of 70,000 people in Old Trafford who was unable to say so with certainty as the ball was at least a yard into the net.

Of course, the person with the best view was Carroll himself – and it is clear that he knew perfectly well that a goal had been scored.

If manager Alex Ferguson is so quick to accuse Bolton’s Tal Ben Haim of cheating in his reaction to Wayne Rooney’s push, then surely he should level the same charge against his keeper.

However, such is the mad world of football that Poll insists that, even if Carroll had admitted that the ball had crossed the line, the referee should not have given it.

In cricket, batsmen may get a lot of stick for not walking even when they know they’ve got a faint nick, but at least the ones who do walk don’t risk getting overruled by the umpire.’

Posted: 6th, January 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink