Watch: IPL Match referee Shakti Singh misheard Faf du Plessis’ call at the toss at the Eden Gardens, leading to some confusion.
Kolkata Knight Riders were playing their first match on home soil at the Eden Gardens, against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Ahead of the match, home captain accompanied Faf du Plessis, his Bangalore counterpart, for the toss.
Along with them were Singh as well as commentator Sanjay Manjrekar.
Rana flipped the coin. As Du Plessis called ‘heads’, Singh followed the coin. Perhaps it was the perennially loud Eden Gardens crowd that led to him mishearing it as ‘tails’.
When it came up as heads, Singh pointed at Rana (“heads it is”), when du Plessis pointed out that it was he who had called heads. He found support in Manjrekar.
“Misunderstanding over accent,” explained du Plessis, before he chose to bowl, something Rana admitted that he would have done as well.
There have been similar occurrences before, most famously at the 2011 World Cup final, when the toss had to be redone at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Another instance had played a role in Zimbabwe’s first ever win in Test cricket.
Singh himself is no stranger to unusual incidents. In 1988/89, when Shankar Saini took four wickets in four balls spanned across two innings of a Ranji Trophy match, Singh managed to feature twice. Two years later, he hit 14 sixes in an innings – at that point an Indian record.
Now a Bollywood playback singer, he has managed to feature in another cricketing oddity as match referee.
Watch the confusion over the toss:
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