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Gilchrist bats for under-fire umpires

Gilchrist bats for under-fire umpires

Gilchrist says umpires are under "unbelievable" scrutiny.

Perth: Australia's Adam Gilchrist went in to bat for the umpires on Wednesday, despite being at the wrong end of a dodgy decision at the weekend.

The big-hitting left-hander, playing his final one-day tournament for his country before bowing out of international cricket, was at the heart of the latest umpiring controversies during Sunday's one-day clash with India in Melbourne.

Gilchrist was wrongly given out LBW by South African umpire Rudi Koertzen for a duck after he got a thick inside edge onto his pads. Then, in the Indian innings, the Australians were certain star batsman Sachin Tendulkar had got an outside edge, but Koertzen turned down the appeal.

Koertzen was also involved in a glaring error earlier in the season, when he incorrectly gave Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara caught behind for 192 at a crucial stage of the second Test against Australia in Hobart in November.

Koertzen's dramas follow the rapid fall from grace of veteran West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor, who was removed from the Test series between India and Australia at the request of the Indians after making bad mistakes in the content_cnious second Test in Sydney in early January.

Earlier this week, respected Australian umpire Simon Taufel backed the increased use of technology to help with decisions, saying such a move was inevitable.

But Gilchrist said he had put the Melbourne decision behind him and backed the umpires. He said it was time people moved on from highlighting incorrect decisions, saying the scrutiny under which umpires operated was "unbelievable."

"Things like that have been happening as long as the game has been played," the wicketkeeper-batsman said. "I've been more than happy to stand by whatever happens, happens, and you have to deal with it.

"Of course you are disappointed, but you just get on with it. "I am not going to hold a grudge against any umpire, particularly that bloke. I respect him.... I have the utmost respect for all those umpires."

first published:February 13, 2008, 15:13 IST