The IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians (MI) might have been a humdinger but it will be remembered for umpire S. Ravi's failure to spot a no-ball off the last delivery from MI pacer Lasith Malinga. With RCB needing 7 runs off the last ball, Malinga bowled a no-ball. A senior STAR official told IANS that the umpire wasn't even looking at the landing point of the bowler's front foot.
The Star official, who went through the feed of the match, revealed that Ravi was looking at the batsman when Malinga reached the bowling crease.
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"Having gone through the slow-motion replay of the match feed, I can tell you for certain that Ravi wasn't even looking at the front foot of the bowler. He was already looking at the batsman," the official said.
Commenting on this howler, a senior BCCI executive said that the practice was being followed by most Indian umpires these days as they look to check the legality of the delivery in case a batsman is out.
"The old habit of first looking at the bowler's foot at the point of delivery and then looking towards the batsman is being ignored by most Indian umpires these days. They just look at the line where the ball is pitching and take it from there. If a batsman is dismissed, they go up to the third umpire and check for the no-ball," the executive told IANS.
A BCCI functionary confirmed that the matter was being looked into by Team IPL - the governing council has been disbanded by the Committee of Administrators - and the howler would be taken into account when umpire evaluation is done at the end of the group stage.
"Team IPL has noted the matter and this will definitely be taken into consideration when the evaluation is done at the end of the group phase. It won't be too surprising if Ravi loses out on matches in the playoffs," the functionary said.
Both RCB skipper Virat Kohli and MI captain Rohit Sharma made their displeasure known. In fact, Rohit went on to add that the third ball of the 19th over from Jasprit Bumrah was unfairly called a wide by umpire Nandan.
"I just got to know when we crossed the rope. Somebody just told me it was a no-ball. These kind of mistakes are not good for cricket, it's pretty simple. The over before that Bumrah bowled a ball which wasn't a wide. Those are game-changers. There's a TV up there, they have to watch what's happening. It is as simple as that," he said.
Kohli was expectedly livid: "We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That is a ridiculous call (last ball). If it is a game of margins, I don't know what is happening. They should have been more sharp and careful out there."