Kohli to umpires: IPL not club cricket, keep your eyes open

RCB captain Virat Kohli has taken umbrage at the way his team had to suffer because of a decision by the umpires over a no-ball that appeared wrong

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Bangaluru: Disappointed with not getting a no-ball decision from the umpire for the last delivery by Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has said that the umpires at the Indian Premier League (IPL) must “keep their eyes open”.

Interestingly, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has supported the strong statement by Kohli.

Mumbai Indians won the match played on Thursday by six runs. However, both Kohli and Rohit criticised the level of umpiring during the match.

Royal Challengers Bangalore needed 7 runs off the last ball. Shivam Dubey hit the ball by Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga towards the long-on. Thinking a defeat was now inevitable, neither batsman left the crease for runs. However, in action replay, it became clear that Malinga’s front foot was out of the crease and it was a no-ball. The overstepping missed the attention of umpire S Ravi.

If the umpire had called it a no-ball, the Bengaluru team would have got a free hit, with the striker AB de Villiers, who was an excellent rhythm, batting at 70 runs, getting another chance to draw or win the match. Royal Challengers Bangalore did stand some chance of winning this match.

After the match, “We are playing at IPL level, not club cricket. That was just a ridiculous call off the last ball. The umpires should have their eyes open, it was a no-ball by an inch. It’s a completely different game altogether (if the no-ball was called).”

“So, if it’s a game of margins, I don’t know what’s happening. They should have been more sharp (sic) and more careful out there.”

Ravi has been the only Indian umpire on the elite panel of the ICC for many years.
Rohit Sharma said he came to know it was a no-ball after the players had left the ground. He said, “Winning and losing doesn’t matter. It’s not good for the game of cricket, as simple as that,” he said. “Those sort of mistakes, we have to avoid. For us, as players, if we make mistakes, we pay for it. So it’s not good for the game. Eventually, the game will start moving in different directions if these things keep happening. Whatever I have had to say, I’ve said it.

“It’s not about who won the game. The deciding factor is very important and those crucial decisions could change the game, whether it’s a wide or a no ball. So you have to be more aware of it. Next time you’ll have to be more careful about those kinds of decisions.

“I seriously don’t know what the solution is. ICC, BCCI and all those decision makers should come up with a solution. I’m not authorised to make a call on it. I’ve said whatever I’ve had to say because it’s not good for the game. Whatever is not good for the game, I’m not going to stand for it. It’s pretty simple, those decisions can cost you games, and those games can hurt you towards the end of the tournament. We prepare so much to win this tournament, those mistakes are not acceptable.”

Pointing at the second umpire of the match, C Nandan, Rohit said that, in the 19th over, wrong decisions were taken against his team too. He said in the 19th over when Jaspreet Bumrah was bowling, a ball was given a wide, and it was not a wide ball.