Sunday, June 5, 2011

When Sachin Tendulkar was at both ends

The Saturday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers was event free. There were no controversies and incidents of note. It was differentto the last time the teams met.

Rewind to April 24. The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium was agog with talk about whether Sachin Tendulkar will play the match at all. It was his 38th birthday but Tendulkar was in mourning due to the demise of his spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba. Tendulkar ended the speculation by turning up for the match.

But it was not for the suspense over Tendulkar that match was memorable. Rather a major incident in the match went largely unnoticed. Curiously enough, it was about Tendulkar. Rather it was about the manner of Tendulkar’s dismissal. The incident led to a complaint by the Mumbai Indians team management.

The incident occurred mid-way through the Mumbai innings. Put into bat, Mumbai Indians made 172 but Tendulkar, who has been in roaring form coming into the match, was out for 28 (24 balls, 4x4). He was out caught at long on by Dale Steyn off Amit Mishra in the ninth over.

The sequence of events went this way — Tendulkar lofts Mishra and Steyn catches at long-on; the umpire, unsure of legality of the delivery, checks with the third umpire if it is a no-ball; evidence from two angles is inconclusive but the third angle shows the delivery is legal; Tendulkar is declared out.

So far, so good. But another look at the third angle shows that Tendulkar is at the non-striker’s end. He could surely not be striking the ball and be at the non-striker’s end too at the same time. It later turned out that the footage of the third angle supplied to third umpire was not the right one.

The third umpire, K Hariharan, who went by the evidence supplied to him. He was asked if the ball was a no-ball and he gave his verdict. “I went by the evidence I had,” said the umpire without elaborating. He did not surely notice if the footage was incorrect.

For the record, Mumbai won the match by 37, restricting Hyderabad to 135.

It was recently learnt that the MI team director TA Sekhar brought it to the notice of IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman who, after inquires, is believed to conveyed to the MI management that the incident was due to a human error. As the incident did not have an impact on the final outcome of the match, it was closed. But the MI official was not too happy with the IPL reply and wrote back that recurrence of such incidents should be prevented

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