Ian Saxelby has no doubts that umpires Nigel Llong and George Sharp made the correct call in deciding Mark Ramprakash was out in extraordinary fashion during in an exciting climax to Gloucestershire’s LV=County Championship match with Surrey at Cheltenham.
The 41-year-old former England batsman was unhappy at being ruled to have obstructed the field during Saturday afternoon’s play, which ended with his team clinching a nail-biting two-wicket win.
Ramprakash was batting well on 35, with Surrey 138 for 4, when he responded to Jason Roy’s call for a second run and had to beat Kane Williamson’s throw as he tried to make his ground at the bowler’s end.
Saxelby attempted to gather the throw and after he failed to do so Gloucestershire appealed that he had been obstructed.
After consultation Llong and Sharp ruled that Ramprakash was out. He got halfway back to the pavilion and then returned for a conversation with the two umpires before walking off.
Saxelby said: “Ramprakash waved his bat in the air as if he were going to block the ball. He didn’t, but the action distracted me and that is why we appealed. It was a good decision.”
Gloucestershire skipper Alex Gidman added: “I have never seen a dismissal like it before. From where I was standing I just saw the bat go up, but the other lads saw what line it was on and felt it put Sax off gathering the ball.”
Surrey cricket manager Chris Adams described Ramprakash’s dismissal as “bizarre”, but accepted it. He said: “It was a big call and it looked pretty innocuous from the sidelines. Mark was upset and very disappointed that the umpires felt he deliberately set out to obstruct the field.
“The laws of cricket are there and sometimes umpires see things one way and you see it another. At the end of the day it is their decision that counts. It was all rather bizarre and confusing. We were disappointed because Mark was playing beautifully in a high-pressure situation.”