The umpiring standards in the ongoing 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have come under the radar quite a few times. Firstly, the controversy occurred when during the match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the straight umpire failed to judge the penultimate delivery of the game which was a big no-ball bowled by MI fast bowler Lasith Malinga. Due to that howler, the Virat Kohli-led team was denied a free-hit and a probable opportunity to make a definite comeback.
In the recent game between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), a strange drama unfolded; after MS Dhoni’s dismissal, on the very next delivery, first the straight umpire, Ulhas Gandhe lifted his hand to declare the no-ball for height, but suddenly he then strangely acted as if nothing happened. Also, the square leg umpire who has the absolute authority to call the no-balls in case of height issues never declared the delivery as a false one.
This whole drama forced Dhoni to come fuming from the dugout towards the field to seek clarity on the confusion. Surprisingly, it was the first time when people saw Dhoni intervene the field and in turn losing out his cool. However, even after a long and aggressive discussion, the no-ball wasn't declared and thus, the delivery was counted as a legitimate one.
A lot of things have improved
During a recent interview, Mumbai Indians Director of Cricket operations Zaheer Khan came forward in the backing of the umpires and revealed that a lot of things about the current umpiring standards have surely improved. He reckoned that umpiring is seriously not an easy job and mentioned that it gets very difficult to make decisions under immense pressure.
“Well I think a lot of things have improved and there is always room for improvement. So in terms of standards of umpiring, it’s not an easy job and the more pressure you put on them (the umpires), it’s going to be even more difficult,” said Zaheer Khan.
Things have gone little out of hand
The former Indian left-arm pacer accepted the fact that there have been many incident witnessed this season which have gone out of the radar. However, he also noted that it is very much good when the umpiring standards are consistent throughout the game.
“You know as long as the right call has been made it is fine. Yes in this tournament so far we have seen few incidents where things have gone little out of hand, but as long as the umpiring is consistent throughout the game, then it should be ok,” the left-arm speedster added.