During West Indies’ 15-run defeat against Australia in the World Cup clash at Trent Bridge, poor umpiring assumed an essential role as opener Chris Gayle got out on a ball which, in a perfect world, ought to have been a free hit. Gayle was stuck plumb before his stumps by pacer Mitchell Starc in the fifth over of the Windies innings.
Be that as it may, it came as a major shock for the Windies fans when the TV replays clearly showed that the past delivery of the pacer was a massive no ball which the umpire had failed to notice.
Had the previous ball been called a no ball, the delivery on which Gayle was dismissed would have been a “Free hit”. In a crucial World Cup contest, this umpiring blunder may have cost West Indies the game.
The poor umpiring decisions were criticised a lot by Cricket experts, fans and former cricketers alike.
West Indian Cricketer, Kieron Pollard tweeted “Time and time again we tend to be on the wrong end of decisions… and the masses are not vociferous bcuz y……. Piss piss poor decision making in this game and it continues … it is blatantly alarming. (sic.)”
The umpire who failed to notice the no ball was Chris Gaffaney, the cost of which, was borne by Chris Gayle and West Indies as they went on to lose the match by 15 runs – only a matter of few balls for somebody like the stature of Gayle.
It is worth noting that Gayle had already reviewed successfully twice to save himself from unfair umpiring calls before his eventual dismissal in the fifth over of the innings. However, it wasn’t third time lucky for Chris Gayle and he had to obey the raised finger.
Later in the match, even Jason Holder was given out Leg-Before-Wicket but the Decision Review System showed that the ball had clearly pitched outside the leg stump and he survived.
The decisions in this match have ignited lots of debates, opinions and views on umpiring standards at the international level.