Didn’t block Sachin on purpose: Lee
Hobart, Feb 27: India lost their all-important CB Series league match against Australia by a staggering 87 runs. Chasing 253, India lost Sachin Tendulkar in the seventh over, run out for 14. Responding to Gautam Gambhir’s call for a single off a Brett Lee delivery, the master batsman failed to make it to the crease, allegedly impeded by the bowler. Lee appeared to have stopped in front of the stumps, blocking Tendulkar’s way to the crease, as David Warner ran in from point to dismiss the batsman with a brilliant throw.
On previous occasions, batsmen have earned a reprieve on the basis of the ‘obstructing the field’ rule. In the recent match, however, Tendulkar was judged out and the game slipped from the Indians early in the chase.
Square-leg Simon Taufel and pitch umpire Billy Bowden ruled against the batsman after some deliberation.
Clarifying his position on the run-out, the bowler in question Lee tweeted, "Great win by the Aussies, Boys are very excited. Just for the record I would never block the great man Sachin on purpose when [he] is running."
Speaking at the post-match conference, India skipper MS Dhoni said, "I don't think you can justify that Lee was going towards the point fielder. I don't think he had real business to go over there and to decide to stand just in front of Tendulkar. That means [Tendulkar] would have to take a longer way across. That is my reading of that particular run out."
"Tendulkar was disappointed that he was given out despite the bowler [Lee] standing in his way," he continued.
Stand-in captain for Australia, Shane Watson was of the opinion that, “Billy Bowden and Simon Taufel are two of the best umpires in the world. I have total trust in them to make the right decision so whichever way they went, I am always comfortable. […] About Sachin [Tendulkar’s run out], I thought that he was very disappointed with Gautam Gambhir for actually taking that one [run]. There probably was no run it. I actually felt he wasn’t happy all the way back. Looking back at Gautam Gambhir, he obviously realised that Sachin wasn’t [happy with the run] […]”