Umpiring controversy has struck early in the 13th edition of Indian Premier League with Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan and team co-owner Preity Zinta among those calling out the decision to dock one run from Kings XI Punjab’s score in the run-chase against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Sunday.
In the 19th over of the KXIP run-chase, Mayank Agarwal and Chris Jordan ran two after the former squeezed a Kagiso Rabada yorker down to long on. While Sunil Gavaskar, on commentary, was praising the running between the wickets, square leg umpire Nitin Menon signalled one run short.
Simon Doull, former New Zealand bowler, said on commentary that the run was absolutely fine on replays as it was quite clear Jordan’s bat was over the line.
The dreaded bent elbow touch on right shoulder meant that KXIP were given just one run for that ball. In the end, after 20 overs each, both teams finished on 157/8. The Super Over did not go KXIP’s way and DC walked away with two points.
While two was counted on the scoreboard then, score was revised to 145/6 at the start of the last over after Agarwal took three more runs in the 19th over.
“I travelled enthusiastically during a pandemic, did six days of quarantine and five Covid-19 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,” Zinta tweeted.
While DC had the chance to kill the game off the very next ball when Agarwal skied one to Shreyas Iyer that was dropped at deep midwicket, the one run eventually was the difference between win and a tie for KXIP. As has been pointed out, there is no sense in using technology to call no-balls and at the same time, not using the third umpire to resolve such tight decisions when it would have taken a couple of minutes extra to make the right call.
(Note: It is worth mentioning here that as per the playing conditions set out for IPL 2020, the on-field umpire cannot refer to the third umpire for a decision over a short run. It is not one of the circumstances per the document where the main umpire or the one at square leg can refer to the use of television replays to make a decision.)
There has been no official comment from IPL about the matter yet.
In IPL 2019, an angry Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli came down heavily S Ravi on after the final delivery of the match bowled by Mumbai Indians’ pacer Lasith Malinga turned out to be a ‘no-ball’, which was not awarded to the losing team.
More importantly, winning captain Rohit Sharma was also critical of the umpiring standards during the match.
“We are playing at the IPL level. It’s not club level, the umpires should have their eyes open. That was a big no-ball,” a livid Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Incidentally, Ravi was the only Indian umpire in ICC’s Elite Panel back then and as is Menon now.
Kings XI Punjab have appealed against the short-run call.
“We have appealed to the match referee. 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 run could cost us a playoff berth,” KXIP CEO Satish Menon told PTI.