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Indian Premier League 2023

‘Of course he can’t believe it’ – Commentators aghast, Klaasen remonstrates with umpires after no-ball reversal

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The on-air commentators and both Sunrisers Hyderabad batters were left stunned after a high full toss was not called a no ball after a review by Lucknow Super Giants.

In the 19th over, Avesh Khan bowled a high full toss to Abdul Samad, with the batter mistiming the ball onto his thigh pad before running a single. The delivery was called as a no ball for height with LSG captain Krunal Pandya choosing to review, with the range of umpiring decisions that can be sent upstairs expanded for IPL 2023.

TV umpire Yeshwant Barde deliberated over the decision, before opting to use ball-tracking to see where the delivery would have passed Samad had he not hit it. This showed the ball passing above the stumps, but Barde told the on-field umpire to reverse his decision, with the crouched position of the batter proving key in the decision.


“Batsman is crouched,” he said. “It’s a fair delivery.” The Laws of Cricket state that a full toss is a no ball if it “would have passed, without pitching, above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease”.

The on-air commentators could be heard gasping as the decision came through. Heinrich Klaasen, one of the batters in the middle, went to remonstrate with the umpires to signal his displeasure.

“Of course he can’t believe it, we can’t believe it either,” quipped Sunil Gavaskar on commentary.

Former SRH head coach Tom Moody also criticised the decision.

There was more drama to follow, with a crowd interruption, perhaps in protest, delaying the game, before another review went against SRH. This time, a bouncer passed at the head height of Samad as he jumped to try and reach the ball, with Barde again ruling that the delivery was legal.

“Not so great umpiring decisions being made there, but it’s part of the game,” Klaasen said at the innings break. “You have to get on with it and get on with life. Hopefully they just stay consistent.”

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