Umpire’s call under scanner again, controversy over another ‘soft signal’ decision in NZ-Bangladesh ODI


New Zealand paceman Kyle Jamieson had every reason to be upset after being controversially being denied a caught-and-bowled wicket in the second ODI against Bangladesh on Tuesday (March 23). The new Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) recruit Jamieson looked to have pulled in a brilliant return catch at Hagley Oval to dismiss Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, diving low in his follow through to grab the ball.

Umpire Chris Brown at the non-striker’s end gave the soft signal as out, but third umpire Wayne Knights ruled Jamieson did not have full control of the ball as he hit the ground.

All-rounder Jamieson was clearly unhappy when the ‘not out’ decision was displayed on the big screen and waved his hands in the air in disgust.

“I’ve got the ball on the ground and the player is not fully in control,” third umpire Knights said in discussion with the on-field umpires in the television coverage.

The following are the ICC rules related to the matter…

33.1 Out Caught: The striker is out caught if a ball delivered by the bowler, not being a no ball, touches his/her bat without having previously been in contact with any fielder, and is subsequently held by a fielder as a fair catch, as described in 33.2 and 33.3, before it touches the ground.

33.3 Making a catch: The act of making a catch shall start from the time when the ball first comes into contact with a fielder’s person and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement.

Tamim, who was on 34 at the time, survived and cashed in, moving to the 50th half-century of his ODI career before ending up with 78 off 108 balls. Bangladesh ended up with 271/6 after batting first with Mohammad Mithun chipping in with an unbeaten 73 off 57 balls.

Just last week, umpire’s call was mired in controversy when India’s Suryakumar Yadav was given out although it appeared after multiple replays that England’s Dawid Malan had grassed the ball.

India skipper Virat Kohli on Monday (March 22) said that the ‘Umpire’s Call’ is creating a lot of confusion at the moment and the lawmakers need to look at it so that it does not leave a grey area when a big tournament is being played.

“Look, I have played in the time where there was no DRS. The umpire made the decision whether the batsman liked it or not, it stayed like that. Vice-versa, if the umpire gave it not out and it was out, it stayed like that. Whether it was marginal or not, according to me, umpire’s call right now is creating a lot of confusion,” Kohli said.

“One more factor that needs to be considered is how the fielding team responds to a dismissal that is claimed. This is somewhere defining the soft signals as well. You have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are because if things like that happen with the Indian cricket team overseas then you are talking about completely different conversation about spirit of the game,” Kohli said about the ‘soft signal’.

“So look, it is a serious thing which needs to be considered because there is a lot at stake in bigger tournaments. You do not want any grey area hampering the game and it leaves with you no clarity,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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