David Hussey justifies controversial 'obstruction' incident

David Hussey (c) said he was just trying to protect himself but probably should have just let the ball hit him and then the whole situation would have been less frustrating Getty Images

Hobart: Feb 27, 2012

The obstruction incident in the match against Australia might have left India seething with anger but the man at the centre of the controversy, David Hussey justified his action saying he was just trying to “protect” himself.

Hussey said he would have accepted the umpire’s decision if he had been given out for sticking out his hand to stop a throw during the match at the SCG and understood the Indian team feeling aggrieved.

“I was just trying to protect myself. I probably should have just let the ball hit me and then the whole situation would have been less frustrating. I can see how the Indians are frustrated with the decision but I certainly was protecting myself. There was no malice in stopping the ball or preventing me from being run out,” Hussey was quoted as saying by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

“I just saw it and thought, ‘Oh no, it’s going to hit me in the head,’ and I just put my hand up to stop the ball.

Looking back on it, you can see both sides of the argument, you could probably give me out, not a problem, but then on the flipside, I was just protecting myself. It was probably a critical moment in the game, too, so it would have been nice just to take all the emotion out of it,” he added.

The incident happened in the 24th over of the Australian innings when they were at a precarious 119 for four with wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade taking off for a single off R Ashwin’s final delivery.

Non-striker David Hussey answered his partner’s call but as he was completing the run, the Australian put his right hand out to stop the ball from hitting him.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni appealed for an obstructing the field dismissal which is allowed under the ICC rules.

Bowden and Taufel referred the matter to third umpire Simon Fry, who decided in favour of the batsman by concluding that he was merely trying to avoid getting hit himself instead of saving the stumps.

Hussey said those four minutes, while the third umpire deliberated, felt like about half an hour.

“I thought the umpires handled it very, very well. They kept their cool and they worked through it and saw both sides of the argument. The disappointing thing is you don’t want the players attacking other players because it’s purely in the umpires’ hands and cricket is a very emotional game.

“Both teams wanted to desperately win and we were trying to qualify for the finals and so were the Indians, so you can see they were aggrieved. You just move on, hopefully quickly,” he said.

Hussey said he spoke to Dhoni after the match and that the pair had “smoothed things over”.

But he said the rule was not entirely clear. “It’s a bit of a grey rule. My understanding of the rule is I was just protecting myself so I should be given the benefit of the doubt.”

“However, you’re not meant to handle the ball, either, so it could go both ways. If I had been given out I would have accepted the umpire’s decision and would have been disappointed in my actions. I just wish the whole circumstance could have been avoided by just letting the ball hit me, that’s the way I look at it now,” said Hussey.(PTI)