Barring the fact that this incident didn’t change the result of the match, The TV broadcasters showed the third umpire the wrong replay when the on-field umpires turned on to the third umpire to check the no-ball for Umesh Yadav’s wicket.
Jasprit Bumrah, who is not new to no-balls has apparently bowled another no-ball but got away this time. When Umesh Yadav was dismissed, the on-field umpires turned to the TV umpire to check if he has overstepped. The replay shown, though, has Umesh at the non-striker’s end, and the heel of Bumrah’s front foot lands well inside the crease. The commentators were surprised that it was even checked. “No need to go [to the third umpire] for that,” commentator Sunil Gavaskar said on air.
Though it wasn’t significant to the result, it raises the possibilities of human errors at the crucial point of the match. This, of course, is not the first time it had happened in the IPL or in International level.
In the 2011 IPL, Sachin Tendulkar was ruled out similarly. The first two replays showed that the bowler Amit Mishra was close to overstepping, but a third angle, from cover, had him just okay. It was later noticed that in the third replay, Tendulkar was at the non-striker’s end. Later that year, in a Test match in Barbados, MS Dhoni was ruled out off a no-ball even though on-field umpire Ian Gould suspected Fidel Edwards had overstepped and went upstairs to check. The wrong replay was shown to the third umpire on that occasion, which the broadcasters, IMG Media, then admitted as “a human error, compounded by a senior replay operative having to return home at a very short notice”. There must be others that go unnoticed.
This error happened when the TV broadcasters pressed the back button twice. In this case, Umesh was indeed at the non-striker’s end one ball before he got out. There is no reason other than the human mistake can be identified. Maybe not here, but Moments like this can change the course of the game in some other matches.
Perhaps checking who is at the non-striker’s end when checking for no-balls can be added to the third umpire’s protocols, but by no means is it an exhaustive check: in this case, for example, if the previous ball had been a dot played out by Umesh, a wrong replay would have shown Virat Kohli at the non-striker’s end.
Also, the ICC doesn’t control the broadcasters, they don’t pay for the technology used for decision making, which means it cannot hold the broadcasters accountable for any errors. If ICC does assume control of the decision making, the money will have to ultimately come from the member boards’ share of profits, which reduces the likelihood of this happening in the near future.