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Sunil Gavaskar, Kevin Pietersen react after umpire backs out from giving a wide against SRH

  • Commentators laid out their views on umpire Paul Reiffel withdrawing his decision to signal a wide.

  • CSK ended up winning the game against SRH by 20 runs.

In the 29th match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the penultimate over of the second innings saw a dramatic episode.

In that over, CSK skipper MS Dhoni and bowler Shardul Thakur expressed their disappointment after umpire Paul Reiffel stretched his arms to signal a wide. However, soon the umpire changed his mind and decided not to call a wide.

It all happened on the third ball of the over when Shardul delivered the white leather outside the off stump. Striking batsman Rashid Khan chased at the ball, but it pitched outside the wide mark, and eventually, the batsman missed out to play it.

After which, Reiffel appeared as if he was about to signal for a wide, but following the protest from Thakur and Dhoni, the umpire quickly changed his mind. In the end, the delivery went down as a dot ball.

“Looked like his hands were coming out”: Commentators

The incident ended up confusing everyone, including commentators Kevin Pietersen, Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Slater.

“It looks like he’s checking upstairs, but I don’t know what he’s checking. It looked like his hands were coming out. That’s interesting … I don’t know,” said Slater

Similarly, Gavaskar said: “They’re checking if it might have touched the bat, but if it touched the bat, it would have been a catch. It went straight to Dhoni.”

Pietersen opined that the umpire was going to call it a wide, but the disagreement from the fielding team impacted the decision.

“I’m almost dead certain that I saw his (Reiffel) arms start to go out. And there was a lot of shouting and screaming at him, and he sort of stopped his decision,” said Pietersen.

“He was going to call it, look at this, he was going to call it. He’s still thinking about calling it, and then he’s being shouted at,” he added after watching the replay.

It is relevant to note that as per the law, an on-field umpire can change his decision bearing in mind that the alteration is made promptly.

“Umpire’s decision: An umpire may alter any decision provided that such alteration is made promptly. This apart, an umpire’s decision, once made, is final,” says Section 2.12 of the IPL match playing condition.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 167/6 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 42, Ambati Rayudu 41; Sandeep Sharma 2-19, Natarajan 2-41) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 147/8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 57; Dwayne Bravo 2-25) by 20 runs.

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