by Anura Guruge
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A Sri Lankan posted the (at very top) “Indian Cricket the Real Face (Exposed)” video on Facebook on February 14, 2016. I immediately knew that it must have been in reaction to the India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I that too place that day in Visakhapatnam (India). I had not watched it yet but given how badly India thrashed Sri Lanka in the 2nd T20I, after SL’s surprisingly easy win in the 1st I had a feel that Sri Lankans were not happy about the result.
I finished watching the 3rd T20I yesterday. Yes, there were two (2) bad UMPIRING DECISIONS — and yes, both umpires were Indian. Actually there were a couple more questionable decisions but these two, that I ‘spell out’ above were what would have riled Sri Lankans.
The implication that MS Dhoni cheated because he appealed is not right. I was kind of surprised because he also broke the wicket to try and get a stumping — BUT he appealed for ‘caught behind’. IF it was a catch WHY did he bother to break the stumps. You can’t be out caught & stumped. The appeal, however, was instinctive. He didn’t stop and think about it. MS Dhoni has a hard-earned and well-deserved reputation for ONLY appealing when he thinks the batsman is out. He got it wrong this time BUT I for one don’t think he was cheating!
For a start the Indians had NO reason to cheat. Sri Lanka were 7 for 54 in the 11 over. Plus this was NOT a Test Match or an ODI. It was a T20I.
It was bad umpiring. I also don’t think the umpires were cheating. Yes, it would have been better if we had neutral umpires BUT that debate is now done and dusted. ICC umpires have to much at stake to want to cheat. TV replays highlight their decisions and they are rated for how well they did. Mistakes like this cost them in ranking — which translates into the fixtures they will be allowed to umpire in the future — and as such FUTURE income. That is the biggest motivator UNLESS of course they stand to make ‘millions’ on match fixing!
I am pretty harsh about match fixing and cheating — in the game that I love and have loved for 5 decades. But in this case I will NOT even come close to even thinking that the Indians cheated. They bowled well. There was some turn in the pitch and quite a few of the Sri Lankans batted LIKE I USED TO BAT! Smile.
I would like to SCRAP DRS and instead, in every Test, ODI and T20I, have each appeal and decision reviewed to avoid errors.
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by Anura Guruge