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.
Then in the 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.
Anil Kumble voices his opinion on the umpiring decisions
During a recent conversation, former Indian legendary cricketer Anil Kumble mentioned that it is almost impossible to refer every umpiring decision. Kumble revealed that in case every other on-field decision starts getting referred to the third umpire, then the T20 games will finish in eight hours.
“Now T20 games are finishing four hours from the start of the game. And I know we need to get all the right decisions. But then what happens to the height no-balls. Are we going to refer it to the third umpire? What happens to catches? So every decision made on the field if we are going to refer, then we will be playing eight-hour T20 games,” said Anil Kumble.
While speaking on the no-ball controversy in the game between RCB and MI, where Malinga bowled a no-ball and it was not called right by the on-field umpire, Kumble stated that umpiring is a pretty tough role. The legendary leg-spinner also mentioned that there are instances where the on-field umpires don’t actually check the no-ball.
“I know you are probably referring to RCB vs MI game but it is tough you know. There are times when the standing umpire doesn’t see the no-ball,” Kumble added.