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No Fear No Favour

Former Players Question the Quality of Umpiring in World Cup 2023

New Delhi: As the World Cup fever rages on and the tournament is headed for super clashes, a bunch of players have come out all guns blazing against the quality of on-field umpiring in the matches, especially in the all-important South Africa versus Pakistan match on Friday.

It was a must-win match for both sides and the intensity of the game of quite high, both sides were fired up against one another. The match turned out to be a nail-biter, with South Africa defeating Pakistan with just one wicket at the end.
The questions on umpiring came raging after two close calls that were given by on-field umpires. While in the first decision that was given as not out, the review and third umpire visuals showed the ball hitting the stumps but since it wasn’t hitting the mid of the stumps decisively, the third umpires could not overturn the in-field umpire’s decision and the batter survived.

One mother instance was when the ball was clipping the stump, yet again not convincingly, but the on-field umpire’s decision of out remained and the South African batter had to leave the crease, which many said was the turning point of the match.

Harbhajan Singh and Graeme Smith’s Call for Umpiring Reforms

Former India Cricketer Harbhajan Singh raised questions on the decision and also the methodology behind the DRS system which, as per him, made wrong decisions that cost Pakistan the match.

“Bad umpiring and bad rules cost Pakistan this game.. @ICC should change this rule… If the ball is hitting the stump that’s out whether the umpire gave out or not doesn’t matter… Otherwise, what is the use of technology???,” the former India player tweeted.

“This isn’t right .. either u use technology or stick to the umpire’s decisions SIMPLE! In the same game, the ball hits the stump twice once given out and once not out ..what r are you showing the whole world? Who’s making the mistakes umpire or technology? Why have them both? Need to decide which one is right. UMPIRE OR TECHNOLOGY,” he added.

He was soon joined in by former South African skipper Graeme Smith, who raised the question of bad umpiring batting for the South African team.

“Bhajji, @harbhajan_singh I feel the same as you on umpires call, but @Rassie72 and South Africa can have the same feeling,” he wrote on X.

So, as the tournament moves ahead to its most crucial phase, all eyes would be on umpires and their decisions, including the ones done by the DRS system which allows the players to challenge the on-field umpiring decisions.

Byline: Akaash, freelance journalist

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