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April 30, 2012
CSK vs KXIP, Chepauk, IPL 2012

Ashwin does his Stuart Broad impression in case PK wonders what he's missing.

Chasing 157, CSK were neck deep in shit at 146/8 in 19.4 overs against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday evening. 11 needed off 2 balls but with two bowlers who can hit a bit at the crease, a distant possibility.

The next ball, this happened:


Azhar Mahmood to Kulasekara, 1 bye, Kulasekara moved right out side his off stump to play behind square, Mahmood bowled a full ball just outside leg stump, the batsman missed and then ran as the ball went to the keeper. It’s not been given wide and rightly so. He had moved so far outside off stump. Ashwin does not like it, and he exchanges words with Praveen Kumar. Chennai have lost this.

Ashwin has become petulant of late but that’s for another post. CI adding a ‘rightly so’, I won’t even go there.

Umpires are humans and they have their inconsistencies but this decision was by no means an objective one. Had this come earlier in the game I’d bet on it being called a wide. Coming off the penultimate ball of a chase, Umpire Tarapore chose to call it a legal delivery and signalled a bye.

Why this particular delivery? What if Mahmood had followed up by firing another one down leg, a fraction wider than the previous one clear enough to be signalled a wide?

Going down leg is generally a good rule of thumb to identify a wide, why not call everything that goes down leg a wide? 11 needed off two balls could’ve easily turned into a still possible 9 off two, instead it became an impossible 10 off 1, ending the game for CSK.

Umpires aren’t there to appreciate skill, they have to make decisions based on what they see. Kissed the leg stump on it’s way to the keeper? Legal, maybe, if you saw it. Missed it? Wide. Hit a stump and disturbed the bails? Bowled, unless you’re Johan Cloete/Anil Chaudhury, the batsman is Sangakkara and you’re up for a scrap with Munaf and Harbhajan.

Didn’t watch the RR vs DD game today but heard about this incident:

18.4 Morkel to Hodge, no run, down the leg-side, was it? And not called a wide! Everyone is smiling there, including the batsman and the fielders…!

A Morne Morkel delivery down the leg-side wasn’t given a wide and DD ultimately won by 1 run. Two opinion calls in two days. I’ll admit CSK was mostly a lost cause before the wide that wasn’t but surely RR aren’t amused.

The leg side wide rule in limited over formats is quite harsh on the bowlers but I’m not sure how inconsistent decisions like this can fix that imbalance. It’s one of the few rules you can could expect umpires to not screw up completely.

Image via Cricinfo

13 Comments leave one →
  1. William Striker permalink
    April 30, 2012 4:27 am

    You’re stooping to new depths to make excuses for CSK’s losses.

    The bit about how to judge a wide ball is hogwash. The umpire is a human who judges the laws & rules of the game as he see’s fit. And what are the rules exactly?

    Law 25.1.b states that:

    “The ball will be considered as passing wide of the striker unless it is sufficiently within his reach for him to be able to hit it with his bat by means of a normal cricket stroke.”

    Nothing there about deliveries down the leg side.

    • April 30, 2012 1:13 pm

      Sure you’ll call it an excuse.

      Going by that rule, last night, MI got presented nearly 6 deliveries that were hittable as wides. Just an example. Almost EVERY ball going down leg is given a wide, look at how much offspinners struggle because of it. Batsmen shuffling around and bowlers adjusting lines for that is not a new phenomenon, I’m asking why umpires are choosing these selective deliveries as legal ones when they are no different from others given as wide.

  2. April 30, 2012 8:51 am

    I agree wid u regarding inconsistancies.. But umpires are like judges… There is a rule book to guide them, but they can make judgement calls depending on situation.. That gives a very interesting dimension to the contest…

    Anyways loved the article.. Extremely well written… Keep up the good work.. Lets see more

    • April 30, 2012 1:18 pm

      Nah boss, they are there to make consistent decisions regardless of ‘match situation’. Only adapting they have to do is for pitch conditions.


  3. April 30, 2012 2:22 pm

    I agree with you dude, there has been some major flaws in decision making by the umpires in this IPL. Anyways its a good blog.

  4. April 30, 2012 3:42 pm

    Sack Fleming, Sell Dhoni

    • April 30, 2012 3:45 pm

      I know the team that will snap up both (the latter off the purse) soon as that happens. So do you.

      • Anish permalink
        April 30, 2012 3:50 pm

        Considering who the BCCI President is, its more than a little ironical for Madrasi’s to point out so called refereeing conspiracies (that too about wide balls ffs).

      • April 30, 2012 4:44 pm

        Conspiracy? Take off your blinkers banner.

      • Anish permalink
        April 30, 2012 6:25 pm

        Bwahaha! So says the guy who writes a 500 word rant about Wide balls. Cry me a river.

      • April 30, 2012 6:42 pm

        Tell me that if MI come up on the wrong side of it.

      • Anish permalink
        April 30, 2012 11:41 pm

        Get a new reply template design.

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