Hobart Test: Warner man of the match award, a ‘slap in the face’ for Kiwis

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 12:27

Hobart (Australia): The decision to award Australian opener David Warner the man of the match award in the second Test between Australia and New Zealand has angered Kiwis and some Australian cricket fans, as Black Caps bowler Doug Bracewell was overlooked despite steering his side to a seven-run win.

Bracewell took 6-40 in the second innings at Bellerive Oval and claimed a match haul of 9-60, yet did not get close to Warner in the voting, who made an unbeaten 123 in Australia`s failed chase.

Only fans in Australia could vote for the award on a Cricket Australia phone app that was promoted on Channel Nine, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Yesterday, they overwhelmingly judged Warner the man of the match, as he attracted 58 per cent of the vote to Bracewell`s 27 per cent.

Former New Zealand players Andre Adams and Iain O`Brien led the chorus of disapproval and vented their dismay on Twitter.

Adams tweeted: "MOM to the losing side ... makes sense. I suppose Doug`s spell of 6-26 off 9 didn``t have any impact".

O`Brien added: "A ton in a losing side vs a 6fa in a winning side ... Ummmmm. Sure runs were tough, but that``s just f---en ridiculous..."

On stuff.co.nz writer Fred Woolcock labelled the decision a "slap in the face" to New Zealand and the voting system "nothing more than a popularity vote".

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell, now a Channel Nine commentator, was also critical and last night sarcastically called phone app voting a "genius idea".

Chappell said turning the award into a public vote devalued the accolade, and opened the potential for "stupidity" when voting.

"I``ve disagreed with some man-of-the-match appointments over the years, but at least you figure, well, generally it`s made by someone who`s got a bit of an idea about cricket," he told 3AW.

"That`s not to say the punters don`t know about cricket, but you don`t know who the hell`s [voting]."

Chappell was disappointed that "so many of these decisions now are made by marketers", when an official award deserved to be made by someone with "cricket knowledge".

Cricket Australia`s phone app was conceived in talks between it and a phone company sponsor, but spokesman Peter Young said the gimmick would be reviewed before Michael Clarke`s team took on India in the first of four Tests, starting on Boxing Day.

Cricket Australia says it will review its man-of-the-match voting system after a Logies-like innovation stirred up cricketing passions on both sides of the Tasman.

"It will now be reviewed before we go into the India Test series," Young said.

"Our thinking was we were interested to try to get as much public engagement in the game as possible and gee, it`s been a significant response," he added.

Young said four million votes had been polled across the two Australia-New Zealand Tests after a panel of experts came up with three nominations.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 12:27

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