Millions and millions are invested in a T20 tournament like Indian Premier League (IPL). One bad shot, one bad delivery can change the course of the game. Similarly, one bad decision by the umpire can change the outcome of the game. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Mumbai Indians (MI) clash yesterday is a perfect example. A no-ball was overlooked off the final delivery when RCB needed 7 runs.
As soon as the replay of Lasith Malinga overstepping the line was displayed on the big screen at the stadium, everyone was shocked. While MI players and fans were busy celebrating the team’s win, RCB players and fans were in disbelief. They felt like they were robbed of a possible win. And then, camera pans to skipper Virat Kohli, who did not seem happy at all.
After the match, he was immediately asked for his reaction and clearly he was livid with the umpires for ignoring a clear no ball by Lasith Malinga.
“We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call at the last ball. If it is a game of margins, I don’t know what is happening. They should have been more sharp and careful out there,”
Players get banned and fined for showing dissent even if umpires commit blunders. In IPL 2018, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowler Sam Curran’s legitimate delivery was called a no ball. There are many such instances where umpires have ignored no balls, given wides, not called wides.
Now, with Decision Review System in place (DRS), they don’t have to worry about edges and leg before wickets (LBWs). The third umpire takes care of run out appeals anyway. The front foot no ball is checked after every wicket. Checking them after every delivery will be time consuming and increase the duration of the game.
The least they are expected to do is to adjudge whether a delivery is a legitimate or not, especially when it is one as crucial as the one from last night. If they can’t even decide that then it’s hard to see the point of having umpires on the field to make decisions.
— Liton Das (@BattingAtDubai) March 28, 2019
Not just RCB skipper but Rohit Sharma was not happy with umpires as well. He pointed out a legal delivery in the penultimate over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah which was signalled a wide. Rohit supported Kohli in criticising the umpires for their incompetency. In the post-match presentation, he said,
“I just got to know when we crossed the rope. Somebody just told me it was a no-ball. These kind of mistakes are not good for the game of cricket, it’s pretty simple, the over before that. Bumrah bowled a ball which wasn’t a wide ball. Those are game-changers. There’s a TV up there, they have to watch what’s happening. It is as simple as that. Players can’t do much. The only thing they can do is walk off and shake hands because it was the last ball. It’s disappointing to see that. I hope they rectify their mistakes like we do.
Apart from these two deliveries, in the penultimate over of MI’s innings, umpires did not call a wide after a bouncer went over Hardik Pandya’s head. In another IPL 2019 match between KKR and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), umpires gave four runs for overthrow when the ball was clearly dead.
The cricket fraternity and analysts took to Twitter to express their dismay:
Sorry.. but umpires are missing too many no balls these days.. time for another umpire on the ground to call no balls! #fedup
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) March 28, 2019
Unfortunate call at the end there, last ball should always be checked.
Very entertaining game MI vs RCB #IPL2019
— Lungi Ngidi (@NgidiLungi) March 28, 2019
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 28, 2019
In the world of technology that we live in, a NO BALL like that should NOT happen!
End Of Story!
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) March 28, 2019
It would have been better if Shivam Dube was out on the last ball, seems like that is the only way umpires would have checked the #noball
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 28, 2019
They have to sort this out somehow. Difference between a win or a loss.
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) March 28, 2019
I’ve been saying this for years . All deliveries should be adjudged by the third umpire . Each and every delivery .
— Rohan Gavaskar (@rohangava9) March 28, 2019
High quality cricket tonight. Wow!
Yuvi, Hardik, Chahal, Umesh, Virat, AB, Bumrah & Malinga all taking the game to great heights, before it all came crashing down with that last ball no ball miss. Unforgivable mistake.#VIVOIPL2019 #RCBvMI
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 28, 2019
I believe with the technology that’s being used in cricket for different things what happened in the #MIvsRCB match highlighted that more should be done.
— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) March 29, 2019
If incidents like these happen in a playoff or final match, it might lead to an even bigger controversy.