Everyone makes mistakes. But when an umpire makes one, in the middle of an international game, it can prove to be very costly. And before the DRS, umpires did make a shit ton of mistakes!
1. Umpire Joel Wilson’s wrong decision denied Zimbabwe the highest ever run chase in World Cup history.
Chasing 332, Zimbabwe were just hanging in there thanks to Brendon Taylor and Sean Williams’ 149 run partnership. With 32 needed off 19 balls, the game was on for the two set batsmen. This is when Williams hit one to deep mid-wicket and was caught. The decision went to the third umpire for confirmation.
This is what the fielder’s foot looked like when he took the catch.
Take another look!
But to the dismay of Zimbabwe, Sean Williams was declared out! Zimbabwe lost the game by 5 runs!
2. Umpire Rudi Koertzen’s blunder not only cost Kumar Sangakkara a double century but Sri Lanka a historical victory in Australia.
Chasing 507 runs, Sri Lanka had made 265-3 before they suffered a collapse which reduced them to 290-8. However, on one end was the impregnable Kumar Sangakkara. He had scored 192 when he went for a pull shot against Stuart Clark and missed it by a country mile. The ball hit his arm and was caught by Ponting at 2nd slip.
The Aussies, however, appealed and the umpire declared him out. Sri Lanka lost the match by 96 runs.
3. During the 1st test match at the Gabba in 2003, Steve Bucknor gave Sachin out to a ball that had not only bounced way too much but had also pitched a mile outside off and had barely moved in.
You could hear the commentator call bullshit on the decision as soon as it was given. Even to the naked eyes on TV, that looked not out. Sachin, too, was visibly disappointed at the decision.
4. In one of the ODI games during South Africa’s 2006 tour of India, one of Zaheer Khan’s outswinger’s took the edge of AB De Villiers’ bat and was caught by Sachin at slip. However, umpire Aleem Dar did not think so.
As soon as the catch was taken, the South African batsman started rubbing his pad as a gesture indicating that he had been struck on the leg. Funnily enough, even if that were true, De Villiers would have been plumb in front of the wicket!
5. During the 2nd ODI of Zimbabwe’s tour of West Indies in 2013, Ramnaresh Sarwan was about 8 inches short off the ground, when a direct throw took the stumps off, as he tried to steal a single. However, umpire Peter Nero did not refer it to the third umpire.
Sarwan knew he was out, He looked distraught. Even the Zimbabwe players were confident about the throw but the umpire, for some reason did not go upstairs. Sarwan went on to score 120 and won the game for the West Indian team.
6. During the 2nd innings of the 1st Test at Adelaide Oval, 1999, Sachin Tendulkar was given LBW to a ball that had hit him on his shoulder!
This is easily the most forgettable decision Tendulkar has received on the field of play. Sachin ducked to a short ball from Glenn McGrath but the ball stayed low and hit a ducking Tendulkar on the shoulder. Australians appealed and umpire Daryl Harper adjudged him leg-before!
7. At this point, the ICC had cleared Muttiah Muralidharan’s action. According to the laws of the game, he wasn’t chucking. Umpire Emerson thought he was.
Mind you, Emerson was the first to call Murali for ‘chucking’ in 1995/96. This had led to the ICC examining Murali’s action rigorously and then declaring his action legitimate!
8. Every second decision made during the Sydney test of 2007-2008 between India and Australia was simply wrong!
Andrew Symonds had nicked one to Dhoni off Ishant Sharma. The Indian team was celebrating but umpire Steve Bucknor did the raise his finger. A little later, the Australian batsman was stumped but Bucknor did not refer it to the third umpire. Symonds was spared by the third umpire again despite his leg being outside the crease when Dhoni took off his stumps.
This was preceded by Ponting getting caught down the wicket to Ganguly and not being given out. What followed was even bizarre. Batting at 3, Dravid had missed a leg spinner by a mile but the Australians appealed and he had to walk back. However, the nail in the coffin was when Ganguly’s edge was caught by Ponting but the ball was touching the ground. Despite protests from Dada, umpire Mark Benson refused to go to the third umpire!
9. During the 3rd innings of 1st Ashes test in 2013, Stuart Broad nicked one to the slip. It looked out to the naked eye because it was. The ball had taken half of Broad’s bat before reaching Michael Clarke’s hands. However, Aleem Dar seemed oblivious to it.
Broad did not move and neither did Aleem Dar’s finger. The Australian side stood there in utter disappointment and sheer astonishment. The replay confirmed a big outside edge. Broad was on 37 and scored another 28 before falling. England won the match by 14 runs, half of which came from Broad’s bat after he was spared by the umpire.
10. In 2007, Tendulkar had a nasty case of the nervous 90s but it wasn’t always his fault.
In a one-dayer against England at Bristol, Tendulkar cruised along to 99 and looked set to break the jinx. However, Andrew Flintoff’s short ball caught Sachin’s arms and was collected by Matt Prior. The England team appealed and the umpire adjudged Tendulkar out.
There is a reason Sachin has been thrice on this list. He actually could have been every point of the list, to be honest!
Anyhow, the anger you’re feeling right now, reserve it for the time when those friends of yours say DRS is ruining the game!