Belfast Telegraph

Cricket: Irish star gets apology from ‘threatening’ umpires

By Ian Callender

Andrew White received an apology from the umpires after Sunday’s first one-day international against Zimbabwe in Harare.

During the Ireland innings, the Instonians all-rounder was warned by the umpires and the team threatened with a five runs penalty if he repeated his “switch-hit” during the game.

The officials claimed that he had changed his stance before the bowler had delivered the ball and when the bowler stopped in his run-up, White was warned for time-wasting.

However, video evidence proved that White had not moved while the bowler was in his delivery stride and only as the ball was leaving the bowler’s hand did the batsmen change to play left-handed, one of White’s favourite and most profitable strokes. The match referee and umpires agreed to look at the evidence from Pete Johnston, Ireland’s video analyst, after the match and the umpires admitted White had done nothing wrong and gave him a formal apology.

The video also showed that Eddie Rainsford was run-out off the penultimate ball of the game but with no television coverage or replays available, umpire Saheba’s ‘not-out’ decision stood and Rainsford hit the last ball for six to give Zimbabwe a two wickets victory.

The match was watched by the Cricket Ireland hierarchy of chairman David Williams and chief executive Warren Deutrom, who arrived on Sunday for a three-day visit to confirm CI’s support for the controversial tour which, with just three days to go, has passed off entirely without incident.

The team is under 24-hour security, with two dedicated officials living in the team hotel and travelling on the team coach.

Indeed, one of them accompanies every player who wishes to leave the hotel as an individual although they were advised on arrival that walking around Harare was not advisable.

Personal experience would suggest that advice is rather over the top with friendship rather than animosity the common greeting outside.

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