Several questions were raised over umpiring in Women Cricket in regard to the No-Ball drama during the second ODI between India and Australia Women played on Friday, 24th September.
Australia needed 13 off the last over which was being bowled by India’s most experienced bowler Jhulan Goswami. It was definitely a pressure situation for both teams with India eyeing points on the board and Australia hoping for an addition to their ODI winning streak. This pressure made Jhulan deliver the third ball of the over as no-ball. Though there wasn’t any destruction with just 1 run being given, it was all down to the last bowl with Australia needing 3 runs to win, but at first, they weren’t able to. It was the moment for India to celebrate but just for a couple of seconds as Australia appealed for a no-ball and the appeal was successful which led to the controversies arising. Australia went on winning at the end.
Was that a No ball? pic.twitter.com/5QMjBZwToJ
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 24, 2021
In an interview with Times of India, former India Women’s Cricket Team Captain, Diana Edulji pointed out a couple of flaws with the umpire’s decision.
She said “There were a couple of major umpiring blunders. Since Jhulan had bowled two no-balls (waist-high full tosses) in the final over, she shouldn’t have been allowed to bowl the last ball but should’ve been taken off the attack. This shows that the on-field umpires were confused. While the no-ball call was marginal, replays showed (Nicola) Carey was plumb lbw while trying to reverse sweep Rajeshwari (Gayakwad) in the penultimate over.”
Further, sharing her opinion that the third and the fourth umpire were inexperienced for the level of the game it was. Since the on-field umpire was injured, the reserved umpire replaced him on the field. Edulji asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to consider an experienced panel of umpires for Women’s Cricket just as they have for Men’s cricket.
It wasn’t just about the umpiring, the one major thing missing from the game was the Decision Review System (DRS) which as per Edulji should have been mandatory. After all, every series should follow the same rules.
Talking about the match, Edulji appreciated Australia’s fitness level and pointed out flaws in India’s fielding as well as the fitness level of the players, saying “See how Beth Mooney (who scored an unbeaten 125 in the second ODI) was putting an effort in her running between the wickets, along with her partner Carey even in the 50th over. The Aussie cricketers too are coming off a Covid-induced layoff, so we’ve no excuse there.”
Thus, with so many controversies revolving around the 2nd ODI between India and Australia Women, it is important for ICC to analyze the situation better and then take their stand.
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