IPL 2019

We’re playing IPL not Club Cricket – Umpires should have their eyes open, said Kohli

Mumbai Indians registered their first win in VIVO IPL 2019 after they held their nerve to defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs on Thursday night. In Match 7 played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, MI scored 187-8 batting first and then restricted the hosts to 181-5.

Virat Kohli has come out spitting fire and the rest of the cricket world reacted with equal disbelief after more controversy rocked the Indian Premier League (IPL) overnight.

An umpiring howler off the last deliver cost Royal Challengers Bangalore dearly as Mumbai Indians pipped the hosts by six runs largely due to Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliant spell at the death in an IPL encounter on Thursday.

Needing six to take the game into Super Over, Lasith Malinga’s final delivery to Shivam Dube was a no-ball that was missed by the on-field umpires as RCB managed 181 for 5 in reply to 187 for 8 by Mumbai Indians.

What hurt them more was AB de Villiers, who nearly took his team to victory with an unbeaten 70 off 41 balls would have faced the free-hit. Both umpires C Nandan and ICC Elite Panel’s S Ravi bungled completely leaving Virat Kohli seething in anger.

Lasith Malinga ended up overstepping which was not picked by the on-field umpire S Ravi. Photo: Twitter

In a tight game that went down to the wire with RCB needing seven to win off the last ball, Lasith Malinga ended up overstepping which was not picked by the on-field umpire S Ravi. It was showed on the giant screen only after the players shook hands post the game. It drew sharp criticism from both captains, and particularly Kohli.

The umpire in question, S Ravi, is India’s only representative in ICC’s Elite panel of umpires.

RCB captain Virat Kohli and his opposite number, MI skipper Rohit Sharma, came down hard on the umpiring error that marred the end of the thrilling clash between their teams at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday.

“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,” said Kohli.

Speaking about the match, he lauded the efforts of AB de Villiers, but wanted more players to take up responsibility in the middle overs.

“A few more strikes apart from AB could have done the job for us. We need to be smarter at death bowling. Sure they guys will take a lot of learnings from the game. I think the way they bowled, we can learn from their game. The onus is always on each and every member of the team. I got out at a wrong point of time. Shivam was good as well. I mean Jassi is a top-class bowler. A bit of a mistake from me to take him on at that stage. Mumbai is lucky to have him. And also Malinga. And if Jassi is in good form, it is good for India,” the captain added.

Although Mumbai Indians notched up a victory by 6 runs, Rohit Sharma too wasn’t happy with the standard of umpiring.

“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,” said Rohit.

“There’s a TV up there, they have to watch what’s happening,” Sharma said. “It is as simple as it is. 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 disappointed to see that. I hope they rectify their mistakes like we do when we make mistakes,” Sharma added.

“I don’t know what the solution is. They (boards) need to come up with a solution. I am not authorised to. Eventually it’s not good for the game and whatever is not good for the game, I won’t stand for that. Those decisions can cost you games and those games can cost you the tournament. We work really hard to win the tournament and those kind of mistakes are not acceptable,” Rohit further added in the post-match press conference.

How it unfolded?

Malinga had 17 to defend off the last over and though he conceded six off the first ball, he was able to pull things back well enough to win the game for Mumbai. And even as he was celebrating with his team-mates, the replay went up on the big screen, prompting fury from the RCB camp. Their bowling coach Ashish Nehra stormed out to the middle and was involved in an animated chat with the fourth umpire.

By then, as per the Laws of the game, it was too late for the umpire to change his decision. Law 2.12 of the MCC’s Laws of the game says: “An umpire may alter any decision provided that such alteration is made promptly. This apart, an umpire’s decision, once made, is final.”

The host broadcaster’s commentators, in their post-match analysis, strongly advocated the introduction of technology to deal with such issues.

Kohli and Sharma weren’t the only ones upset. Former stars, including international captains, raged over cricket’s refusal not to let technology intervene in cases where obvious blunders have been made.


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