IPL 2019: For umpire Nigel Llong, past one week has been troublesome
The umpire was made to pay Rs 5,000 to the Karnataka State Cricket Association as compensation.
Updated - May 7, 2019 2:32 pm
It has been quite a troublesome season for the umpires in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. One after another controversy concerning the match officials rocked the tournament. One instance even saw ‘captain cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni walking into the field to challenge an umpire over his decision.
Last week, Nigel Llong, a member of the ICC’s Elite Panel of umpires, also had a turbulent time. The 50-year-old Englishman was among the Playing Control Team that had made a controversial interpretation of the playing conditions in a rain-hit clash between the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) and had quite an uncomfortable experience.
Llong left infuriated after RCB players protested his call
While the inconclusive game buried the chances of the controversy taking a big shape, another instance of controversy hit Llong a few days later, at the same Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. It was during the last over of the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting innings that Llong called home bowler Umesh Yadav “no” for apparently overstepping.
However, the camera showed that the pacer’s left foot had landed well within the popping crease and when the RCB bowler and his captain Virat Kohli protested against it, the umpire refused to budge calling it “my call”.
For Llong, the matter didn’t end there. The fuming official stormed off the field and was seen in an animated monologue. He went to the umpires’ room just beyond the sightscreen at the Pavilion End and reportedly kicked the door, damaging it. The umpire was made to pay Rs 5,000 to the Karnataka State Cricket Association as compensation, according to Cricbuzz, and it was being speculated if Llong was due for a penalty just like the players who bring the game to disrepute.
The Karnataka State Cricket Association brought the episode to the attention of the Committee of Administrators. Match referee Narayan Kutty was also apprised of the incident. “It was an unfortunate incident. As the state association, we are duty-bound to report it. We are writing to the COA today,” association secretary R Sudhakar Rao was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
It was also being asked whether foreign umpires get away with even bigger offence while their Indian counterparts face the music for a little reason.