‘Player obstruction should come under third umpire’s watch’

England all-rounder Sam Curran says third umpires should be able to rule on players obstructing the field rather than requiring players to appeal, as debate continued on Tuesday over Matthew Wade’s clash with Mark Wood in a T20 World Cup warm-up.

Wade stuck an arm out to impede Wood, as the England pace bowler ran down the pitch to attempt a catch in Perth on Sunday, sparking criticism of the Australian wicketkeeper-batsman from fans and media pundits.

England captain Jos Buttler declined to appeal for obstructing the field, however, saying later that he had not seen the incident clearly and wanted to avoid controversy at the start of the series.

Curran said his captain had “probably” made the right call under the circumstances, but felt similar decisions in the future might be better taken out of players’ hands.

“As players, you’re watching the ball go up and we’re looking at that, rather than maybe the actual movements of the players involved. Maybe that’s the easiest way, just go straight to the third umpire, it’s probably tough for the umpires in the field because they’re probably watching the ball as well. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen too often, (but) in those big moments, it could be a wicket that wins or loses you the game as well, so maybe that’s the best way,” he told reporters in Canberra, on Tuesday.

With the T20 World Cup around the corner, Buttler said that he might have appealed after England’s eight-run win on Sunday, if the stakes were higher.

Curran agreed that the weight of a World Cup match could change things.

“When you play a game versus Australia and at a World Cup, for instance, your competitive edge will be out there and you will want to win, at all costs,” he said.

“In that moment, you’d hope they take it upstairs (to the third umpire) and the best decision is made because Woody bowled a nice ball there and he probably deserved a wicket, but he’s (Wade) kind of got a little bit in the way.”

England will play their second T20 warm-up against Australia in Canberra on Wednesday.

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