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Indian Premier League 2023

‘Bowlers should be allowed to retire’ – R Ashwin argues with umpire over contentious wide call involving shuffling Maxwell

R Ashwin umpires – the bowler was unhappy after a contentious wide ball was called
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

An unhappy R Ashwin was involved in a long, animated conversation with the umpires after a contentious wide call involving Glenn Maxwell in the Royal Challengers Bangalore-Rajasthan Royals IPL 2023 match in Bengaluru.

The incident occurred in the 13th over of RCB’s innings, when Maxwell backed away from his stumps even as Ashwin delivered the ball to him. The bowler altered his line, following the batter, who moved back towards the stumps, escaping the delivery that slid past. The umpire called it a wide – Ashwin promptly asked skipper Sanju Samson to review it.

The umpire checked all angles, and employed UltraEdge too, adjudging that the ball hadn’t grazed the bat or pad. As the decision was being made, Ashwin was seeing debating with the on-field umpires.


Harsha Bhogle, on commentary, said: “I think the bowler should be allowed to retire because Ravichandran Ashwin has been given a short boundary, a flat deck and a bowler [batter] who is standing four stumps outside leg-stump, and still being called a wide.

“Cruel is about as mild as you can put it.”

His co-commentator, Mpumelelo Mbangwa, added: “I think he had a point – I genuinely do think he had a point. At the point of release, where was he – and then it becomes conjecture, doesn’t it. What do you think, and what do I think as a bowler? It’s basically what’s going to happen – it’s going to be the umpire against you, the bowler”.

The third umpire eventually upheld the on-field umpire’s decision, terming it a wide.

According to MCC’s Law 22 for  wide balls, clause 22.4.1 says:

“The umpire shall not adjudge a delivery as being a Wide, if the striker, by moving, either causes the ball to pass wide of him/her, as defined in 22.1.2, or brings the ball sufficiently within reach to be able to hit it by means of a normal cricket stroke.”

Ashwin had the last laugh, dismissing a well-set Maxwell two overs later, but not before the Australia batter scored a 44-ball 77, his best score this season.

To bet on the IPL with our Match Centre partners bet365, head here.

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