Two days into the tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has its first real moment of controversy, with an umpiring call in the spotlight in the game between Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab at the Dubai International Stadium yesterday.
It took a Super over and Kagiso Rabada heroics to seal the match for the Delhi franchise, but the crucial moment of the game came in the final over of the Kings XI innings, when Marcus Stoinis defended one run in the final three deliveries.
Or, did he?
In the third delivery of the final over, Mayank Agarwal picked up two runs, but saw the second chalked off as a short run by the on field umpire Nitin Menon.
Menon ruled that Chris Jordan’s bat did not touch the ground and therefore could not be counted. Replays, however, showed that Jordan had indeed landed the bat. Stoinis forced the game into the Super Over, dismissing Agarwal and Jordan off the last two balls as Punjab finished on the same score as Delhi (157/8).
The decision was never overturned and Kings XI ended up losing the game in the Super Over.
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Virender Sehwag, who is notoriously Twitter friendly when it comes to issues of minimal importance in the larger context of humanity, shot out at the decision saying, “I don’t agree with the man of the match choice. The umpire who gave this short run should have been man of the match. Short Run nahin tha (it wasn’t a short run). And that was the difference.”
KXIP owner Preity Zinta also expressed her disappointment and demanded the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) introduce new rules and increase the use of technology to better help the game.
“I travelled enthusiastically during a pandemic, did 6 days of quarantine and 5 covid tests with a smile but that one short run hit me hard. What’s the point of technology if it cannot be used? It’s time @BCCI introduces new rules. This cannot happen every year. #DCvKXIP @lionsdenkxip,” Zinta tweeted.
Kings XI Punjab have lodged an appeal with match referee Javagal Srinath over the incident, with their CEO Satish Menon saying that the decision could "cost them a playoff spot". This was, of course, Kings XI’s opening game of the campaign.
"We have appealed to the match referee," Menon told PTI. "While a human error can happen and we understand that, there is no room for human errors like these in a world-class tournament like the IPL. This one could cost us a playoff berth. A loss of a game is a loss of a game. It is unfair. I hope the rules are reviewed so that there is no margin for human error."
According to the rules of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the umpire can use the assistance of the third umpire only in case of a possible dismissal or an unclear boundary decision. The third umpire can't get into the game without being asked for by the on-field umpires or a player using a DRS review. No-balls are the exception to the rule, with third umpires being asked to keep an eye out for them at all times.
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