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County Championship 2021

Watch: County umpire raises finger for LBW appeal, changes mind, signals leg bye in Championship title decider

Watch: County Umpire Raises Finger For LBW Appeal, Changes Mind, Signals Leg Bye Instead In Championship Title Decider
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Watch: There was a general sense of bafflement in Warwickshire’s must-win clash against Somerset when the umpire seemed to give Will Rhodes out lbw, only to cancel the decision and signal a leg bye instead.

With victory guaranteeing them the County Championship title, and a draw seeing Lancashire, who beat Hampshire in dramatic circumstances yesterday, take the crown in their stead, quick runs were the order of the day for Warwickshire. Central to their pursuit of a declaration was Rhodes, who raced to a 34-ball half-century, but his brisk cameo appeared to come to an end on the last ball of the 42nd over, bowled by Jack Brooks.

Walking across his stumps and attempting to flick into the leg-side, Rhodes missed a full delivery and was struck right in front of the stumps. Somerset appealed, and at first the umpire agreed, raising his finger. Brooks walked off in muted celebration, only to turn back abruptly upon realising the decision hadn’t gone in his favour. The official then walked off and signalled leg bye, with Brooks standing with hands on hips and Rhodes turning his head swiftly between the bowler and umpire, apparently as mystified at his reprieve as everyone else. The umpires in the game are Russell Warren and Steve O’Shaughnessy.

Close inspection of the replay suggests the only doubt is over whether the ball pitched in line with the stumps or just outside leg. As it was, Rhodes was run out three balls later, leaving the rest of his batsman to set up a declaration push and a thrilling climax to the County Championship season.

There were echoes of an incident in the Big Bash League, with Rashid Khan celebrating an lbw appeal he thought he had won, only for the standing umpire to change his finger raise into a nose scratch.

Watch the bizarre moment below:

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