ICC brought under scanner after no-ball gaffe in IPL 2019

ICC brought under scanner after no-ball gaffe in IPL 2019

That day, umpire S Ravi failed to spot a no-ball bowled by Lasith Malinga.

S Ravi
S Ravi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 has become known for the controversies it saw in the very first week of the tournament. First, it was the rank turning pitch at the Chepauk on which the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were bowled out for 70 runs in the tournament opener.

Then came the ‘mankading’ incident that happened between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab when Ashwin ran out Buttler, causing much outrage on social media amongst cricketing fraternity. However, the biggest controversy that has put even the ICC under the spotlight is the no-ball controversy that happened during the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore match in Bengaluru.

RCB needed 7 runs off the final ball to win the match bowled by Lasith Malinga and managed just 1 run off it. However, the umpire at the bowling end, S Ravi had missed that Malinga had overstepped the crease, resulting in a no-ball, which he failed to call. The RCB camp was furious at this mistake, once it was discovered and RCB lost the match by 6 runs.

Umpires under scrutity

“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 sharper and more careful out there,” RCB skipper Virat Kohli was quoted saying in the post-match presentation.

This has brought the ICC in the spotlight as these sorts of error have become more and more common. The IPL gaffe made everyone question why couldn’t the third umpire intervene and call it on behalf of the on-field umpire. Had the third umpire intervened just after Mumbai Indians’ players started to celebrate, Malinga would have had to bowl another delivery, giving AB de Villiers and RCB another chance to win the match. But the replays showed that the MI players had left the field after they were done with their celebrations and there was no case that officials could have asked the players to come back on the field.

The way forward for ICC to give a thought to

Recently, in the third Test during England-Windies series, England’s Ben Stokes was called back from the dressing room after being given out off a front foot no-ball bowled by Alzarri Joseph. This was done as the next man in Jonny Bairstow had entered the field, but Stokes resumed his innings after the third umpire intervened in a timely manner.

Now it’s up to the ICC to look into this matter and bring in technology to avoid such mishaps on the field. The Pakistan-England 2016 ODI series saw TV umpires calling front foot no balls and perhaps it’s the time to move on in this direction and curtail the number of errors by on-field umpire.

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