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Steve Smith run out controversy: Nasser Hussain hints 3rd umpire Nitin Menon made right call

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By India Today Sports Desk: Nasser Hussain said that he had a lot of sympathy towards the Oval Test third umpire Nitin Menon after the decision he made during the Steve Smith run out controversy.

The incident occurred on the second day of the match when Smith was batting at 42 runs. A substitute fielder, George Ealham, rushed in and threw the ball to England’s wicketkeeper, Jonny Bairstow, who quickly dislodged the bails, sparking celebrations from the English team.

However, the decision was referred to the third umpire, Nitin Menon, who after examining multiple replays, adjudged Smith not out. This decision was based on Law 29.1 of cricket, which states that “the wicket is broken when at least one bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or one or more stumps is removed from the ground.”

Upon closer inspection of the replays, it was revealed that while Bairstow had indeed dislodged the bails before collecting the ball, one half of the bail was still in its groove when Smith’s bat crossed the crease.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hussain said it was the perfect storm for the third umpire. The former England captain admitted that he doesn’t usually show a lot of sympathy to the third umpires, but it was different this time.

“It was the perfect storm for the third umpire. He had to decide when the dive was made, when the stumps were broken by Bairstow – did he have the ball in his hand – and which was broken first, which bail was out, and out of which groove?

“I don’t have much sympathy for third umpires, because they have all the technology and a lot of time to get to the right decision.

“But on this occasion I have a lot of sympathy. There was so much going on; we’ve had four England captains, two Australian captains and an Indian cricketer argue about it.”

“I’m still not sure what the answer is this morning.”

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