Bangalore: Cricketing greats backed Virat Kohli Friday after he slammed a “ridiculous” no-ball error which condemned his Royal Challengers Bangalore side to defeat against the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Hosts Bangalore needed seven to win Thursday’s match off the final delivery when Mumbai’s Lasith Malinga bowled a dot ball - but replays suggested the paceman had overstepped the line.
A no-ball would not only have given Bangalore one extra run but also a free hit and a chance to win the game. However, they lost by six runs.
“We are playing at the IPL level and not playing club cricket. The umpires should have had their eyes open. That’s a ridiculous call at the last ball,” India captain Kohli said, after the mistake was shown on the giant screen.
“If it is a game of margins, I don’t know what is happening. They should have been more sharp and careful out there,” he added.
On-field umpire Sundaram Ravi, India’s only representative in ICC’s Elite panel, was responsible for the missed no-ball in the Twenty20 tournament.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan led calls for a technological solution to cut no-balls out of cricket.
“In an era of so much technology and with so much at stake NO BALLS should never ever be missed,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter.
Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen said that in a world of advanced technology “a NO BALL like that should NOT happen”.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Dean Jones sarcastically suggested having “another umpire on the ground to call no balls”.
And Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma, whose team registered their first win in the tournament, said such mistakes were “not good for the game”.
“There’s a TV up there, they have to watch what’s happening... Eventually it’s not good for the game and whatever is not good for the game, I won’t stand for that,” said Sharma.
“Those decisions can cost you games and those games can cost you the tournament. We work really hard to win the tournament and those kind of mistakes are not acceptable.”
It is the second flare-up in just the first week of competition of the world’s most popular T20 league after the ‘Mankad’ dismissal of England batsman Jos Buttler that also brought the umpiring into question.
The Rajasthan Royals batsman was run out at the non-striker’s end by Indian spinner and Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin, who whipped the bails off before bowling his delivery on Monday.
The method of dismissal, named after former India player Vinoo Mankad, is legal but is seen by many as going against the game’s values, unless the batsman has been warned first.
Cricket’s rules-setting MCC criticised the dismissal, saying “we don’t think it was within the spirit of the game”.