Australian cricketer Marnus Labuschagne has sparked debate about the act of “celebrappealing”, where a bowler celebrates a wicket before acknowledging the umpire’s decision.
Tasmania was 3/280 late on day one of Queensland’s Sheffield Shield clash at Karen Rolton Oval when Labuschagne thought he had mustered a breakthrough.
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The leg-spinner’s full delivery struck Tassie batter Lawrence Neil-Smith on the front pad, and he immediately sprinted towards the slip cordon with both arms raised.
It was not until he was near Neil-Smith that Labuschagne spun around to appeal, but the umpire remained unmoved at the non-striker’s end.
“He wasn’t appealing, he was celebrating, which would annoy the umpire,” the commentator said.
“No Marnus, it’s not out. I mean you’re more than welcome to appeal, but don’t celebrate. Turn around and ask the question. It’s pitched outside leg stump. A bit cheeky.”
Replays suggested the ball had pitched outside the line of leg stump.
In the Laws of Cricket, “appealing excessively” is considered a “Level 1” offence.
Labuschagne is known for his giddy enthusiasm on the cricket field – which Australian legend Shane Warne called “annoying” earlier this year – but several cricket pundits took issue with his behaviour on Thursday, arguing it was disrespectful towards the umpire.
Fellow teammates David Warner and Tim Paine took cheeky, light-hearted shots at Labuschagne for it.
The Australian’s Peter Lalor called it a “bad look”, while cricket writer Andrew Faulkner posted on Twitter: “Australia’s next captain?”
Cricket reporter Louis Cameron tweeted: “He probably could have turned around to appeal (and looked a good decision from the ump) but one of Australia‘s best cricketers showing that much enthusiasm for Shield cricket surely a good thing.”
Lalor responded: “He shows that much enthusiasm for cricket in his kitchen. Enthusiasm isn’t the issue the issue is respect.”
Labuschagne ultimately finished with bowling figures of 0/71 as Tasmania compiled a mammoth total of 6/500 declared.
The Australian No. 3 batter has already developed a reputation for attempting the “celebrappeal”, with an almost identical incident taking place 12 months ago.
Labuschagne received similar criticism back in March when he showed dissent to an umpire’s decision in a Sheffield Shield match, also against Tasmania.
The Queenslander threw his head back in disbelief after the umpire raised his finger, shaking his head all the way to the sheds.
At the time, News Corp cricket writer Robert Craddock believed Labuschagne’s actions could damage his chances of replacing Tim Paine as Australian Test captain, and this latest misdemeanour certainly won’t help.
During the second innings of this week’s Sheffield Shield match, Labuschagne was bowled by Neil-Smith for 32 after edging a short delivery back onto his stumps.
Queensland is 2/122 at stumps of day two, still trailing Tasmania by 378 runs.