Kallis exposes official blind spot

All-rounder's angry reaction to lbw decision is understandable in light of refusal to remedy sightscreen problem

Jacques Kallis was well within his rights to complain to umpire Steve Davis after he had been given out lbw to Andrew Flintoff yesterday afternoon. For the second time in the match Kallis had lost his wicket to Flintoff because he had failed to see a full ball coming out of a dark area of seating above the sightscreen at the Pavilion End of the ground. In South Africa's first innings a superb yorker knocked out his off stump; yesterday a high full toss hit him flush on the right thigh in front of the stumps while he was taking evasive action.

The reason for Kallis' ire was that South Africa had asked Michael Vaughan, the England captain, and the match officials to place white sheeting over the blind spot at the end of the first innings. Vaughan, realising that the situation was giving his team an advantage, refused to succumb to the tourists. The officials, those wise old birds who prefer to quote regulations from a book than show the slightest hint of common sense, also refused, saying that they were not allowed to change conditions once a match had started. The bowler in me rarely has much sympathy for those pampered prima donnas who wield the willow but this was a ridiculous response to a reasonable request. Surely it is the role of officials to enable rather than hinder a player seeking to perform to his full potential. What the hell are sightscreens for if they do not assist the batsman in seeing the ball? When a bowler moves from over the wicket to round, the sightscreen moves with him. What is the difference between this and whitening an area where the batsman is struggling to see the ball?

Examples of what the South Africans were asking for have already taken place in this Test. At each end of the ground the groundstaff have covered red advertising boards in front of a sightscreen for fear of them acting as a distraction.

There was a famous delay in a Test at Old Trafford in 1995 when the sun was shining on a greenhouse at the DIY centre to the side of the sightscreen, causing a blinding glare. The problem was resolved, after a half an hour, when sheets were put over the offending glass. What is the difference between that incident and the one that took place yesterday?

No doubt the International Cricket Council, the game's governing body, will amend their regulations at the end of this Test. That will bring no consolation to South Africa, as it failed to for New Zealand, who were penalised by another contentious regulation here at Edgbaston earlier in the season. Then, in a rain-interrupted one-day international, the umpires kept the interval between innings at 30 minutes rather than reduce it to 10, only to see the game end with no result when one more over needed to be bowled for a positive conclusion to be achieved.

England supporters will accuse the South Africans of whinging, saying that it was only Flintoff who was causing problems and that was because they could not cope with big Freddie's hostility. There is an element of truth in that, but one bowler can cause a unique set of circumstances.

It is all about where Flintoff releases the ball from and the trajectory of it as it comes down the pitch towards the batsman. Morne Morkel is a taller bowler with a higher action and he probably releases the ball from above the blind spot, causing it to spend very little time in it. James Anderson is shorter and the ball probably never enters it. Flintoff's height and his positioning on the crease obviously result in the ball spending a greater time in this area at the moment when a batsman is judging line and length.

Kallis' reaction, like that of Neil McKenzie, who was dismissed in similar fashion yesterday, was understandable but it would not have helped the mood of his team-mates. When a leading player reacts in such a way it transmits negativity through the team. "If Jacques, with 30 Test hundreds and an average of 57, can't cope, then what chance have I," the batsmen to come might say.

Kallis' hostile, bat-swinging, four-letter reaction to his dismissal will undoubtedly result in a visit to Ranjan Madugalle, the match referee. It is hoped common sense will prevail. Kallis has an impeccable record and we all want to see sport at this level played by humans who show emotion, not robots incapable of thinking for themselves.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum