Pakistan’s team director, Mohammad Hafeez, attributed part of the blame for the team’s 79-run shortfall in their pursuit of 317 in the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to “inconsistent umpiring and the curse of technology.” In a post-match press conference, Hafeez openly criticized the umpires’ inconsistent decisions, asserting that they played a role in Pakistan’s loss in Melbourne.
While acknowledging the team’s mistakes, Mohammad Hafeez emphasized the impact of inconsistent umpiring and technology challenges on the final outcome. He pointed out that the controversial decision against Mohammad Rizwan hindered Pakistan’s comeback, expressing optimism about the team’s chances in the upcoming Sydney Test.
Addressing concerns about Babar Azam’s performance in red-ball cricket, Hafeez acknowledged Babar’s talent and expressed the team’s hope for him to score big in future matches. Despite a lack of half-centuries in the year 2023, Hafeez highlighted Babar’s impressive form in the nets and anticipated a match-winning innings from him in the Sydney Test.
Hafeez’s comments were prompted by the controversial dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan, who was given out after an appeal by Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins. The contentious decision occurred in the 61st over of Pakistan’s second innings when Cummins appealed for a caught behind, leading to a review that ultimately changed the on-field umpire’s decision based on technology.
The third umpire’s decision, supported by a wristband spike on the technology, contradicted the lack of a mark on the hotspot, leaving Rizwan visibly shocked as he returned to the pavilion. At the time of his dismissal, Rizwan was batting on 35 runs, with Pakistan needing 98 more runs for victory.
Looking ahead, Pakistan is gearing up for the final Test against Australia in Sydney, scheduled to commence on January 3.