In the discipline of cricket, the role of an umpire is extremely important in deciding the outcome of any match. However, due to the wrong decisions of the umpires, sometimes even the best of teams have to face a humiliating loss. One such incident occurred yesterday in the ICC World Cup when India lost to New Zealand in the semifinals by a narrow margin of 18 runs.
While most of the spectators lambasted the top-order batsmen, especially the likes of KL Rahul and the skipper Virat Kohli for their lackluster performance, the umpires weren’t spared either.
It all began with the dismissal of Ravindra Jadeja. The onus of winning the semifinal now fell on MS Dhoni. Needing 25 runs off 10 balls, Dhoni hit the ball towards the square leg; in order to maintain the strike, Dhoni decided to go for a double, which proved to be disastrous as he missed the crease by a few inches. Dhoni was declared out, and with that, the Indian hopes were dashed completely as well.
So how did the controversy emerge? According to the pictures and videos that went viral on social media, when the delivery was bowled, more than 5 fielders were outside the 30-yard circle, which was against the rules of the game. So, if the pictures stand correct, according to the rules, the delivery should have been declared a NO-BALL, which would’ve changed the game altogether.
However, if the delivery was declared a no-ball, Dhoni would still have been declared out (as it was a run out).
Now, the question arises whether Dhoni would have taken the risk of taking 2 runs had it been declared a no-ball. Moreover, the next delivery would have been a free-hit. The fans are asking if poor umpiring has cost India the World Cup.
There were 6 fielders outside the 30 yard circle when Dhoni was run out. Shame on Umpires for this level of awareness and that too in World Cup Semi-final ??? pic.twitter.com/ocA8xSuNbz
— MasterYoda (@PrasidthJ) July 10, 2019
— Anand Narasimhan (@AnchorAnandN) July 10, 2019
Issue is not the fact that there would anyway have been a run out off a no ball. Had Guptill been the fielder inside the circle Dhoni may not have gone for the 2nd run.
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) July 10, 2019
What A great Umpiring Skills….The Ball Msd became runout should be given as NoBall…& Dhoni should have played and India have Won….What A Great WC?What a great exhibition of Umpiring skills???? pic.twitter.com/1Xthq2Qyjv
— L@cchi (@LacchiOrange) July 10, 2019
Ever since this fact was revealed, it has left many Indians fuming, who vented their ire on social media. However, this is not the first time that an able player had to walk back to the pavilion due to poor umpiring. During the league stage, when India faced West Indies, Indian opener Rohit Sharma was controversially declared out by the 3rd umpire, despite the fact that the ball connected with both his bat and the pad.
This was a close call, and technically Rohit could’ve remained on the field on account of ‘benefit of doubt’. The controversial dismissal upset Rohit a lot and he expressed his disappointment on the social media.
Interestingly, India is not the only team who had to suffer on the account of poor umpiring. In the early stages of the World Cup, the West Indies suffered on an identical note, when Chris Gayle was unceremoniously dismissed for 17 runs by Mitchell Starc. When the replays were accessed, it turned out that Starc had crossed the crease by a huge margin while delivering the ball, which would’ve been no-ball any given day.
However, the ignorance of the umpire cost West Indies not only the match but arguably the World Cup as well. If the World Cup has actually been in prominence, it is not for the brilliant display of cricket, but the stubborn refusal to shift matches elsewhere by ICC despite bad weather, and the bad umpiring that cost two teams their deserved chance at the prestigious World Cup.