Sachin Tendulkar became the first ever cricketer to be adjudged run out by a third umpire. It was a game-changing moment in cricket as it was the first time technology played a significant role in dismissing a cricketer. It was November 14, 1992, and the third umpire was Karl Liebenberg who made the decision.
Let's talk a bit more about the event. It was India's first tour of South Africa after the apartheid episode. A historical series saw a historical decision as Sachin Tendulkar became the first player to be given run out by a third umpire.
It was the first test of the test series at Kingsmead Durban. Mohammad Azharuddin, the Indian captain, had won the toss and elected to field. The decision was proven right after the Proteas were bundled out for 254 with their skipper Kepler Wessels top scoring with a gritty 118. Kapil Dev picked up 3 wickets.
It was Day 2 and the Indian batting was rocked early due to some inspired bowling by Brian McMillan and Brett Schultz. Indians had lost Ajay Jadeja and Sanjay Manjrekar cheaply and were tottering at 22/2 when Sachin Tendulkar came to the crease to join Ravi Shastri. They had steadily put on 16 runs when the moment arrived.
The Indian score was 38 and Brian McMillan, in the midst of a fiery spell, had his tail up while bowling to a 19-year-old Tendulkar. He pitched one up near the good length area and Tendulkar, who was batting on 11, glided the ball to the legendary Jonty Rhodes at point. Tendulkar attempted to pinch a risky single but Rhodes moved to his left quickly and got rid of the ball.
The Mumbai lad was sent back by another Mumbai lad, Ravi Shastri and it was a race against time for the little master to get back. Andrew Hudson, the former opening batsman of the Proteas, moved to the stumps from his position at short leg in a bid to collect the Jonty throw.
Hudson gathered the ball cleanly and broke the stumps. Tendulkar came back to crease and it looked pretty close to the naked eye. Jonty had his hands on his head as he felt Tendulkar had made it back in the nick of time. Cyril Mitchley who was the square-leg umpire decided to consult the third umpire, Karl Liebenberg. The replays showed that Tendulkar was short and the third umpire Karl Liebenberg had no hesitation in declaring Sachin out. Sachin was dismissed for 11 and the Proteas were delighted to see the back of him.
Praveen Amre later went on to score a hundred and the Indians folded for 277 after they took a slender lead. The match ended in a draw. Amre was adjudged the player of the match for his fighting knock.
South Africa went on to win that iconic 4 match test series 1-0 courtesy their 9 wicket win against India in the third test in Port Elizabeth. Kepler Wessels scored most runs in the series and “White Lightning” Allan Donald picking up the most number of wickets. Donald for his 20 wickets was adjudged the ‘Man of the Series’. India also went down to the Proteas in the seven-match ODI series losing it 5-2.