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IPL 2022: What is umpire's call in cricket?

The umpire’s call has been a matter of intense debate. Pic: Channel Nine
The umpire’s call has been a matter of intense debate. Pic: Channel Nine

During the IPL 2022 clash between the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Monday, Evin Lewis narrowly survived a first-ball lbw dismissal courtesy of the umpire's call.

In the second over of the LSG innings, Lewis missed his attempted sweep and was struck on the pads. It was a length ball that skid in with the angle and beat the left-hander’s stroke to hit the knee roll. The on-field umpire did not give the decision in the fielding side’s favor after which SRH opted for the DRS.

Replays showed that the impact was inside the line of off stump. However, the ball-tracking technology suggested the ball was bouncing quite a bit and was brushing the top of middle and off. The decision stayed as ‘not out’ on the basis of ‘umpire's call’ on height.

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How does umpire's call work in cricket?

In the case of an umpire's call, at least 50% of the ball should be hitting at least one of the three stumps if the batter is to be given out lbw once the fielding side has taken the DRS. If that is the case, the third umpire asks his on-field colleague to reverse his original decision of ‘not out’.

And that's another one for @Sundarwashi5 👌👌Evin Lewis is given out LBW!Live - bit.ly/TATAIPL-2022-12 #SRHvLSG #TATAIPL https://t.co/Yd7Bxc7SAR

In the context of Lewis’ decision though, less that 50% of the ball was hitting at least one of the three stumps, as deemed by the replay. Thus, the LSG batter survived because the original on-field decision of ‘not out’ stayed.

There has been some opposition to this rule since batters are given out bowled even if only the bails are dislodged while they are batting. In the past, when Virat Kohli was the Indian captain, he too was critical of the rule and termed it too confusing. According to him, if the ball is hitting the stumps, even if it's just a part of it, that should be enough to declare a batter out.

Innings Break!87-run partnership between @klrahul11 & @HoodaOnFire propel #LSG to a total of 169/7 on the board.Scorecard - bit.ly/TATAIPL-2022-12 #SRHvLSG #TATAIPL https://t.co/JHj7Viw2Z6

There was some controversy in the South Africa-Bangladesh Test in Durban as a number of close calls went against the visitors. Proteas skipper Dean Elgar survived a close lbw decision by virtue of ‘umpire's call’. Bangladesh have, in fact, decided to lodge a formal complaint with the ICC over the umpiring in the Test.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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