Clarke: Hughes no catch cheat

2011-01-05 11:50
Michael Clarke (AP)

Sydney - Acting Australia captain Michael Clarke flatly rejected claims that team-mate Phillip Hughes attempted to cheat England's Alastair Cook out of his third century of the series at the final Sydney Ashes Test on Wednesday.

English Test great Ian Botham, commentating on television, called close-in fielder Hughes a cheat for claiming a catch that was subsequently proved to have hit the ground just in front of his hands when Cook was on 99.

Cook, who went on to make 189 in England's 488 for seven third day total, also defended Hughes against cheating allegations.

"That's a bit harsh," Clarke told a post-play press conference. "I can guarantee you one thing: Phillip Hughes is not a cheat. He's a wonderful young guy. The end result was spot on.

"Hughesy wasn't sure. (Wicketkeeper) Brad Haddin, who saw the ball clearly, wasn't sure. We made that quite clear to the umpires.

"The umpires obviously referred the catch, checked it. I haven't seen the replays. But it must have come up clear that the ball bounced. And the right result was made.

"I think that's a bit harsh from Ian to say that about Phillip. He's certainly not that kind of guy at all."

It was Cook's second close shave of his innings -- both off debutant spinner Michael Beer.

Beer celebrated what he thought was his first Test wicket late on Tuesday when Cook, then on 46, skied to Ben Hilfenhaus at deep mid-on only for umpire Billy Bowden to ask for the third umpire to check on a suspected no-ball.

Replays showed the spinner had overstepped and Cook batted on.

Cook, who extended his series aggregate to 766 at 127.66, also supported Hughes against any impropriety.

"To be fair to Phil Hughes (he) said straight away that he wasn't sure (of the catch)," he said.

"I obviously was going to hang around on 99, you're not going to walk off too quickly, you have to be dragged off.

"He said he wasn't sure, they went upstairs and I think the right decision was made."

Cook, who has been a chief beneficiary of technology decisions during the series, said the right decisions had been reached.

"At the end of the day the right decision was made on all of them," he said.

"I think that one in Adelaide when I was hit on the arm I was given out and I referred it and the lbw one which I clearly hit in Melbourne.

"At the moment I'm thinking it's looking after me, but I'm sure there will be another time where I am be given not out, it is referred and you then have to walk off and that's when you have to take your medicine, you then can't complain about it.

"I think some times you get a little bit lucky along the way and little things have gone my way on this trip and I'm really grateful for that."

Cook again was a tower of mental strength and batted for over eight hours and faced 342 balls.

He has now occupied the crease for almost 36 hours in the series - equivalent to six days' play.

He was denied his second double-century of the series after his unbeaten 235 in the first Brisbane Test. He also scored 148 in Adelaide.

Read more on:    ashes  |  phillip hughes  |  michael clarke

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Friday, 19 January 2018
Australia v England, Woolloongabba 05:20
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Australia v England, Sydney Cricket Ground 05:20
Friday, 26 January 2018
Australia v England, Adelaide Oval 05:20
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Who will win the 2017 edition of the Ashes?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.