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Video: Dharmasena’s blunder shocks World Cup

17 February 2015 03:49 am - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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As Sri Lanka lost the World Cup curtain raiser against New Zealand on Saturday, another Sri Lankan – umpire Kumar Dharmasena – made a shockingly poor decision, something completely unexpected of an ICC Elite Panel umpire, perhaps endangering his future in this World Cup as well as in the Elite Panel.


Australia beat England by a huge 111 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a match that ended amidst a huge controversy though the margin of victory may suggest there could be little reason for it.


The match ended in the 42nd over when England’s last wicket fell under confusion when Dharmasena ruled last man James Anderson to have been run out.


The fifth delivery of that over was bowled by Josh Hazlewood to England batsman James Taylor who was on 98, just two runs short of his maiden ODI century. Umpire Aleem Dar ruled Taylor out lbw as the batsmen attempted a quick single.


Glenn Maxwell picked up the ball and beat Anderson to the striker’s end with a direct hit while Taylor asked for a review of Dar’s original lbw decision.


Dar’s decision was proven wrong by the Hawk-Eye and was over-turned, but square leg umpire Dharmasena decided to check the run-out with the TV umpire and raised the finger to rule Anderson out after getting the feedback.


However, as Dar had raised his finger to rule Taylor out, the ball should have been deemed “dead” and no dismissals any longer possible according to cricket laws.


International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a media release about an hour later to officially admit that the officials had made a terrible mistake, but it was too late for Taylor.


“The ball should have been deemed dead when the batsman [James Taylor] was given out leg before wicket. No further runs or dismissals were possible,” stated the ICC release that quoted the Article 3.6a of Appendix 6 of the Decision Review System (DRS) Playing Conditions.


“The PCT [Playing Control Team] spoke to the England team management and acknowledges that the game ended incorrectly and an error was made,” added the release.


Dharmasena conferred with Dar and also with the TV umpire before making the wrong decision to rule Anderson out, putting the whole system in disarray.


Dharmasena was the ICC’s umpire of the Year at 2012 ICC awards while Dar won that title for three years in succession before Dharmasena. When the best in the business and ICC’s Elite panel members make such errors, it obviously puts the integrity of the whole system in jeopardy.


It should be noted that Taylor insisted, pleaded, made his point clear and tried his best to show the umpires that they had made a mistake. It was patently clear to most at the packed MCG that the decision was wrong though it apparently did not occur to the two men who mattered. It was also shocking to see match referee Jeff Crowe also failing to intervene and rectify the situation.


Perhaps most alarming would have been Dharmasena’s attitude to bullishly stick to his decision even when Taylor had pleaded him to consider the possibility of a doubt over it.


It was this attitude that abruptly ended Sri Lanka’s previous ICC Elite Panel member Asoka de Silva’s international umpiring career prematurely in 2011 during the previous ICC World Cup held in India and Sri Lanka.


In the match between West Indies and Ireland, a delivery from West Indies captain Darren Sammy pitched outside the off stump and cut in to hit the outside of Ireland batsman Gary Wilson’s front pad. De Silva ruled out Wilson who immediately asked for a review.


Third umpire Bruce Oxenford confirmed to de Silva that the ball had pitched outside off but would go on to hit the off stump. Replays that came on the big screen at the ground made it abundantly clear that Wilson was actually playing a shot, if de Silva was in any doubt.


Cricket rules are clear that a batsman cannot be given out lbw when the ball pitches outside off stump. The only exception to this rule is when the batsman is not offering a stroke.


But for Ireland and what later turned out to be his own misfortune, de Silva stubbornly decided to stick to his original decision. It was despite Wilson requesting de Silva to review again and verify that he was in fact playing a shot.


Ireland captain William Porterfield strongly criticised the move and said that Wilson’s wicket was the turning point for his team’s defeat.


Within five days, ICC removed de Silva from the key Group Stage games of that World Cup he was originally to officiate in and two months later dropped him altogether from the ICC Elite Panel, replacing him interestingly with Dharmasena.


Sri Lanka was also involved when another big blunder was made by ICC match officials in 2007 ICC World Cup final which featured Sri Lanka and Australia in Barbados. The teams were asked to play three overs in near total darkness after rain had disrupted the match. It was sufficient for both teams to have completed 20 overs to arrive at a decision, but the officials shockingly overlooked it.


To punish them for that disaster, ICC stood down all five officials involved in that match from the next big tournament - the ICC World Twenty20.
Interestingly three officials of those five – Dar, Match referee Jeff Crowe and third umpire Billy Bowden – were all involved in Saturday’s controversy at the MCG. (Channaka de Silva)
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  Comments - 21

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  • Huna Tuesday, 17 February 2015 03:35 PM

    "Cricket rules are clear that a batsman cannot be given out lbw when the ball pitches outside off stump" what? never heard of that rule before

    Stomp Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:28 AM

    the ball becomes dead the moment the umpire rules him out, nothing after that is valid, so even if the run was completed, and the review showed the umpire was in fact wrong, the run could not stand, the batsmen would be returned to their original ends

    chinwi Tuesday, 17 February 2015 04:00 PM

    Yes that is wrong.There is a rule for leg pitching. A batsman cannot be given out by LBW if the ball pitched outside leg stump. Off stump , he is vulnerable.

    Jay Tuesday, 17 February 2015 09:17 PM

    What would you do if you need to get only one run in the last bowl of the match ... and umpire given out (LBW)... during that time they ran one run... and review showed it was not out,... so do they count the run ... do they get a another ball?I think they should complete the play, I mean Dharmasena is wright ... then do the review ( bowl wont be dead)

    Chinthaka Tuesday, 17 February 2015 04:12 PM

    NO this allegation is completely wrong. Yes, the ball becomes dead when the umpire raise the finger. That is only if the out is correct. As the out given by the first umpire is invalid the rest of the run becomes valid. As they run and ball stuck the wicket the out given by Dharmasena is valid. Because the ball becomes not dead as the first out is not valid.This can be proved because they take the run as valid one always if the ball did not meet the wicket to make a runout.

    senith senhiru Tuesday, 17 February 2015 04:25 PM

    Assume this was the last ball and only one run required for win the match. After LBW decision if England take that run and later LBW decision withdrawal. Then England again loose due to wrong decision by umpires and cost the match. Therefore rule to be changed if decision withdrawal ball is not dead.

    Bala Tuesday, 17 February 2015 09:27 PM

    Have you been always correct ? Show me someone who has no regrets about decisions over his lifespan. Even Homer nods !!

    P.F.Xavier Thursday, 19 February 2015 03:46 PM

    What you state is wrong. Once the ball is dead "No further runs or dismissals were possible". So there is no run at all.The ball should have been deemed dead when the batsman [James Taylor] was given out leg before wicket. No further runs or dismissals were possible, stated the ICC release that quoted the Article 3.6a of Appendix 6 of the Decision Review System (DRS) Playing Conditions. - See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/63859/nder-shocks-world-cup

    aia Tuesday, 17 February 2015 02:13 PM

    Not only dharmasena, why was alim dar numb over the incident. He was consulted and he too would have advised on the situation and even the third imand even third umpire. Why was only dharmasena mistake was highlighted so emphatically. Our typical subservient attitude towards the west!!

    jim Wednesday, 18 February 2015 12:36 AM

    What bowl!!?? Salad..?? Flour ?? Sugar ??

    Satha Friday, 20 February 2015 10:48 AM

    This is not a serious matter this happens,when players are dying and many deaths due to allowed ristricted bolling system, ignore this any doubut let again appeal and come to the conslusion,like court of appeal.

    dilan Monday, 23 February 2015 04:07 PM

    Wat a surprise !!!!!!!!!!!!! this one move to 51000 views record break

    sam Tuesday, 17 February 2015 10:51 AM

    Oh boy !!

    Cricketpissa Thursday, 19 February 2015 01:55 PM

    Dharmasena should never be allowed to be an umpire in the fist place. He never bowled he chucked all deliveries. If he faced the current panel within the ICC he would have been suspended. Considering these factors he does not have the credibility to be there. The ICC have blundered by appointing him. Time to change.

    Saminathan Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:00 AM

    Similar incident happened in Sri Lanka in 1984. Third test match against India in Oval Grounds Colombo. Krishanamachari Srikanth was given out LBW by main umpire but he did not leave the filed. The present ICC Chief Referee Mr Ranjan Mdugalle saw Srikanth being out of the crease threw the ball at the wicket and appealed. Lo and behold the leg umpire raised his finger.There were screaming headlines "First cricketer to be given out on a dead ball

    kamal Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:03 AM

    Not only Dharmasena, but TV Umpire also made the same mistake, why they accepted at that point, they should use their radio systems and talk each other before to take it into investigation after call for TV umpire by Dharmasena.

    Sanjaya W Tuesday, 17 February 2015 02:53 PM

    Kumara Dharmasena is considered to be a very good umpire ...but I found he tends to do very silly mistakes other umpires hardly do. Kumara was the 3rd umpire in the 2013 Ashes Series 3rd Test. He was the partner in crime of the infamous incident which was dubbed as the most dubious decision in the history of cricket. This incident was against the Australian batsman Usman Khawaja. Another silly mistake was done yesterday on the "dead ball affair" of the last wicket of England innings. Umpires are not super humans but these days you got up to date help from technology and still umpires arel misreading the basic cricketing rules.

    prabha Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:07 AM

    Dharmsena not only erred having consulted the 3rd Umpaire, arrogantly bull dozed his wrong decision for allot us see. His Umpairing career will come to an end soon.

    Pal Tuesday, 17 February 2015 03:03 PM

    No doubt, It is a big blunder, however it has not been such the shock of the world Cup as the reporter suggests. People talked about it on the day and have moved on. Looks like he is trying to over sensationalse the issue. A personal grudge?

    Bala Tuesday, 17 February 2015 11:14 AM

    He is a mere mortal and one wrong decision is bound to be made. All the other umpires, Tv, third

    len Tuesday, 17 February 2015 03:15 PM

    He is a mere mortal who is been paid handsome amount of money do his job correctly..


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