Cook, Clarke defend Hughes after Botham’s ‘cheat’ call

January 6th, 2011 - 2:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan.6 (ANI): England opener Alastair Cook has leapt to the defence of Australian fielder Phillip Hughes after he was branded a cheat by former England all-rounder Ian Botham and the British press.

The accusations were launched after Hughes claimed a catch to dismiss Cook that, with the benefit of replays, was shown not to have carried to him at short leg.

Botham was furious and promptly unloaded on the 22-year-old Australian opener. ‘Terrible. Cheating. How much do you want it to bounce into your hands?’ Botham growled, commentating on Sky Sports.

He added: ‘He [Hughes] knows he hasn’t caught it. There’s no appeal. Someone else says something and then he goes up.’

Cook was on 99 at the time and went on to reach 189 as England drove in their dominance, reaching 7-488 by the close of play.

Cook said: ‘ It was very close, and to be fair to Phil Hughes, he said straight away ‘I wasn’t sure’. Obviously I was going to hang around on 99, you’ve got to be dragged off, so they went upstairs and I think the right decision was made.’

Cook’s sympathy was not matched by sections the English media, who claimed Hughes had tried to coax the umpires into an incorrect decision.

Stand-in Australian captain Michael Clarke also defended Hughes, saying accusations he had attempted to cheat were ‘a bit harsh’.

‘I can guarantee one thing - Phillip Hughes is not a cheat, that’s for sure. He’s a wonderful young guy,’ Clarke said. (ANI)

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