This is maybe not people’s top concern at the minute, but cricketers are getting really half-arsed with their decision review system (DRS) hand signals these days.
When a batsman or captain disagrees with an on-field umpire’s decision, they are now permitted to question their authoritah.
To signal that they wish for the decision to be reviewed by the third umpire, they are obliged to do a sort of punching-your-forearm move. This forms a kind of T-shape which maybe stands for ‘third umpire’ or maybe doesn’t. (We neither know nor care.)
Everyone does this signal slightly differently, but ideally you do it so that people have at least half an idea that you’re signalling for a review. That’s kind of the point.
At one end of the scale, we have a (possibly false) memory of Michael Clarke doing it with a real over-the-top flourish on one occasion; dropping to one knee and delivering a huge slow-motion upper-cut to form the required shape.
At the opposite end of the scale, we have the image at the top of the page which we’re pretty sure is Dom Bess questioning an LBW. (Sorry email readers, you’ll have to click through to the website.)
We say ‘pretty sure’ because honestly, what is that? You’re thinking we’ve got our screenshot wrong and we’ve captured the moment where he’s still thinking about it – but it isn’t.
What happened was Bess made a “should I or shouldn’t I?” face and hovered his hand in a way like maybe it was about to do something.
Then, apparently satisfied that everyone’s gaze was trained on him in expectation of either a ‘please can I review that’ hand signal or not, he just sort of flopped his hand onto the end of his bat to ask for the review.
The decision stood and Bess was out and he completely deserved to be if only for the pathetic hand signal.
Postscipt: This is the second time we’ve written about Dom Bess in the last month. The other time was his terrible five-for against Sri Lanka. If you’ve read these two pieces, you probably think we hate Dom Bess, so can we please just say this is absolutely not the case. We like him very much.