England captain Jos Buttler was stopped from reviewing an incorrect wide call by the on-field umpires towards the closing stages of the tight West Indies run-chase in the first WI vs ENG ODI in Antigua yesterday (December 3).
Shai Hope’s fastest ODI hundred took West Indies to a four-wicket win over England in a run-chase of 326 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Hope stitched an 89-run sixth-wicket partnership with Romario Shepherd, who played an important knock of 48 from just 28 balls to keep West Indies in the chase. At one point though, despite Shepherd’s assault and Hope’s brilliance, the game looked like it was in balance.
West Indies needed 46 off the last five overs with five wickets in hand. Gus Atkinson, bowling his ninth over of the match, started the 46th over on the money, giving away just three runs off the first five balls, one of which was a leg bye. The equation was down to 42 off 25 balls when Atkinson bowled a slower bouncer to Shepherd.
Shepherd tried hooking it away but didn’t get proper connection. The on-field umpire gave it a wide, much to the disappointment of the English fielders as they felt Shepherd had gloved it. Replays confirmed their suspicions as there was a massive spike on UltraEdge as the ball passed Shepherd’s gloves.
What followed was an animated discussion between the on-field umpires and Buttler, who wanted to take a review for the incorrect wide call. The umpires, however, stopped him from doing so as ICC’s Playing Conditions allow players to only review decisions related to dismissals.
Article 3.1 of Appendix D of ICC’s ODI Playing Conditions deals with player reviews. It states that:
3.1.1 – 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’.
3.1.2 – No other decisions made by the umpires are eligible for a Player Review.
The provision of reviewing wide calls has been added in some franchise leagues around the world, including the IPL. The Playing Conditions for IPL 2023 saw the following clause added to it which allowed players to review wide as well as no-ball calls:
“…A player may also be allowed to review any decision taken by on-field umpires concerning wides or no balls.”
This provision has not yet made it to international cricket, which is why Buttler was not allowed to go up for the review despite the on-field wide call being an incorrect one.
The extra delivery did not cost England much in that over as Shepherd played the last ball for a single. But he did hit the first ball of the next over for a boundary.
Atkinson eventually dismissed him in the 48th over, following which West Indies needed another 19 off the last 12 balls. Hope then smashed three sixes off Sam Curran in the penultimate over to seal the game for the hosts.
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