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Gillespie defends Smith over Stokes dismissal

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie has defended captain Steve Smith, saying that he was right to appeal for Ben Stoke’s controversial dismissal during the second One-Day International (ODI) against England at Lords last Saturday.

Stokes had played an attempted drive off Australian pacer Mitchell Starc in the 26th <g data-gr-id="27">over,</g> but only 
succeeded in hitting the ball back to the bowler. <g data-gr-id="17">Starc</g> made an attempt to hit the stumps and Stokes stuck his hand out as a reaction to avoid getting <g data-gr-id="26">hit,</g> but was given out for obstructing the <g data-gr-id="25">field .</g> England later lost the game by 64 runs. “Stokes, for me, was out by the letter of the law,” Gillespie wrote in his column for the Guardian on Monday.

Stokes was initially ruled not out by on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Tim Robinson, but their decision was later overruled by third umpire Joel Wilson. Wilson’s decision has been criticised by England fans, but Gillespie asserted that he was right in ruling Stokes out. “Like me, he believed Stokes’s arm had no right to be where it was <g data-gr-id="22">and therefore</g> he was obstructing the field.

“I don’t think this was immaturity from Smith, as some have claimed. If he was a wise old pro at 36 or starting out as captain at 26, as he is now, I fancy he would have had the same conviction in sticking to the appeal,” the 40-year-old stated. “In doing so, Smith believed himself to be going with the decision of the officials <g data-gr-id="19">and therefore</g> operating within the spirit.” 
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