Why Virat Kohli Slamming An Umpire For Overlooking A No Ball Is Justified

"We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket," Virat Kohli was in no mood to forgive the umpires after the last ball blunder

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.

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:

If incidents like these happen in a playoff or final match, it might lead to an even bigger controversy.

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