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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

India vs New Zealand: Will Young’s bizarre dismissal creates controversy

Will Young was late to review a lbw decision off the bowling of R Ashwin. The replays showed that the ball had turned big and was comfortably missing the leg stump.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: November 29, 2021 9:59:16 am
Indian bowler R Ashwin celebrates with teammates after dismissing New Zealand batsman Will Young during fourth day of the first Test cricket match at the Green Park Stadium, in Kanpur. (PTI)

Will Young, the New Zealand opener, was involved in a bizarre dismissal at the end of day 4 when he was late to go for a DRS call. The timer runs for 15 seconds within which he has to make the request to the umpire to seek assistance from the TV umpire. On this occasion, though, he was late to review a lbw decision off the bowling of R Ashwin. The replays showed that the ball had turned big and was comfortably missing the leg stump.

Before we come to what took him so long, here is the relevant section from the ICC’s playing conditions.

The relevant DRS section 3.2.2 states that “The total time elapsed between the ball becoming dead and the review request being made shall be no more than 15 seconds,” and “If the on-field umpires believe that a request has not been made within the 15 second time limit, they shall decline the request for a Player Review.”

But there is also another interesting angle to it.

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Did the umpire Sharma alert the batsmen after 10 seconds?

He doesn’t have to, apparently. The former pacer and TV commentator Simon Doul explained on the fifth morning.

“I spoke to the fourth umpire this morning. When the DRS timer is on the big screen, the umpire doesn’t have to alert the batsman after10 seconds that only five more left”.

In the past, the understanding was that umpires had to alert.

“The bowler’s end umpire shall provide the relevant player with a prompt after 10 seconds if the request has not been made at that time and the player shall request the review immediately thereafter,” read the playing conditions before.

Young stood there shocked that he can’t take the DRS, and slowly turned around to trudge away.

Now, to the delay in the time. Young first consulted his partner Tom Latham and wasted precious seconds there. The Indian fielders were adjacent to them, eagerly watching his move. Just as the clock ticked out, Young signalled for the DRS. Too late.

Has it happened before?

Yes. In 2019, in a Test in South Africa, Hashim Amla was ruled not out in an lbw appeal by the umpire Aleem Dar. Two errors of DRS timer followed.

First, according to the SuperSport broadcast, only 13 seconds had elapsed when the Sri Lankans asked for DRS to be taken but Dar refused, saying time was over.

Secondly, the cameras also revealed that Dar had made no visible prompt after 10 seconds had elapsed to the bowler Vishwa Fernando or the Sri Lankan players.

According to the commentators on the SuperSport broadcast of the game, only 13 seconds had elapsed when Karunaratne asked for the review, and the TV umpire Ian Gould would have been in charge of timing the 15-second interval between the ball going dead and the review time limit.

How did the Indian players react?

Ajinkya Rahane was first to make a move in the Indian huddle, first telling the batsmen that time was out before rushing towards the umpire to stop him from going upstairs. Almost immediately, and unsurprisingly, R Ashwin too rushed towards the umpire. Umesh Yadav had a wry smile all along and Axar Patel, who had joined the huddle, kept an emotionless face.

When the Indian players trooped into the dressing room, awaiting them just outside the entrance was the batting coach Vikram Rathour, who told each and every one of them how much the ball had turned and by how much it would have missed. Shubman Gill seemed shocked and stood there for a while.

An instant later, cameras zoomed on to the utterly drained, dazed, sad, and seemingly a look of guiltiness on the face of Tom Latham, who sat slumped on the chair looking at a distance at nothing in particular.

Why was the DRS timer included?

Controversy had broken out after Rahul Dravid was given out lbw by DRS in a Test at Galle in 2008.

DRS was being trialled by ICC then and things heated up in that game. Dravid was ruled not out by the umpire Billy Doctrove off Muttiah Muralitharan. Lengthy wait ensued as there was no time limit then and Mahela Jayawardene, the captain, discussed with him teammates.

He then walked to the umpire Doctrove and asked him the reason for not giving it out. Doctrove told him that he thought impact was outside off stump – Dravid had gone for a sweep and was hit on the pad. Immediately, as he knew that there impact was in line, Jayawardene went for DRS. Back then, rules officially didn’t say that players can’t ask umpires the rationale for their decision.

Jayawardene would later say, “He (Billy Doctrove) said it had struck the pad outside off stump.

“In the space of time we have been given I should be able to ask the umpire why he said not out. They have given us time to ask a few people, like the wicketkeeper and bowler, and at the same time I can ask the umpire as well.”

Dravid was visibly angry when he was eventually ruled out and slammed his bat on the ground as he walked away

Later, rules came into place about DRS timer.

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