It was the English who called it the gentleman’s game. But no such gentlemanly conduct was in evidence from England’s slip fielder Jonathan Trott, who claimed a catch when the ball had clearly spilled out of his hands and fallen to the ground, on Day One of the first Test match at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
There are times when the fielder is unsure whether the ball has kissed the turf before nestling in his palms, and a reference to the third umpire is quite warranted. But this was not like that.
Virat Kohli edged off-spinner Graeme Swann to Trott’s left at slip who fell over while juggling with the ball. From the umpire’s field of vision, there was no way to see what had happened because Trott’s body covered the juggle as he fell to the ground. He rolled over and then stood with the ball in his hand, insisting he had caught it.
Luckily, a camera from the opposite side to that of the umpire clearly picked up the picture of the ball as it lay on the ground after Trott dropped it. What was Trott thinking when he picked the ball off the ground as he rolled over and then claimed he had caught it? Perhaps he thought nobody could have seen it, and forgot there were cameras behind him.
This looked so bad that match referee Roshan Mahanama would be tempted to give the Englishman marching orders, or even Trotting orders. Such a hoo-ha is made over minor transgressions like expressing disappointment over a wrong umpiring decision. Trying to fool the umpire is surely much more serious, and it really sets a bad example for kids watching the action too.