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Sri Lanka v Afghanistan 2024

Explained: Why no one was allowed to review no-ball call that helped decide Sri Lanka-Afghanistan T20I

Sri Lanka could not review the no-ball
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Kamindu Mendis was not allowed to review when the umpires did not rule a high full-toss as a no-ball during the third T20I, at Dambulla.

Sri Lanka needed 19 in the last over of the final match of the series against Afghanistan. Mendis hit the first and third balls from Wafadar Momand for boundaries to bring the target down to 11 off three balls.

Wafadar bowled a full-toss on off and middle. Mendis, who had been standing well outside the crease, swung and missed, and looked at the square-leg umpire in anticipation, but there was no call of a no-ball. Replays revealed that the it was high enough to merit a no-ball call by a considerable margin.

Wafadar followed with a wide, but the subsequent dot ball sealed the fate of the match, as Sri Lanka were left to score 10 off the last ball when it should have been nine off two, even if one does not take into account the free hit that would have followed the no-ball. Mendis hit the last ball for an irrelevant six.

“If you can’t see that, that umpire isn’t suited to international cricket,” fumed Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga after the match. “It would be much better if he did another job.”

Could Sri Lanka have reviewed the call? Section 3.1.1 under Player Review in the Appendix D of ICC Men’s T20I Playing Conditions, as updated on December 2023, state that “a player may request a review of any decision taken by the on-field umpires concerning whether or not a batter is dismissed, with the exception of ‘Timed Out’ (Player Review)”.

Section 3.1.2, confirms that “no other decisions made by the umpires are eligible for a Player Review”.

Thus, Mendis would have been able to review the call only if the ball had resulted in his dismissal. Technically, he could even have trodden on the stumps and reviewed.

Some tournaments, like the WPL and the IPL, allow either side to review no-balls for height, but the ICC does not.

It turned out to be Afghanistan’s only win on the tour, having already lost the Test match, all three ODIs, and the first two T20Is of the three-match series.

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