The International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a clarification after a massive outrage on social media regarding Rassie van der Dussen’s LBW decision in a World Cup match between Pakistan and South Africa in Chennai on Friday.
The South African batter was given out on the field by umpire Paul Reiffel in the 19th over of their chase. It was a flatter delivery from Pakistan leg-spinner Usama Mir. Van der Dussen went back without judging the trajectory of the ball and was rapped on the pads.
To the naked eye, it appeared that the ball might have gone on to miss the stumps but umpire Reiffel thought otherwise and gave it out. Quite expectedly, van der Dussen opted to use the DRS (Decision Review System). That is where all the confusion started.
At first, the ball-tracking technology showed that the ball would have gone on to miss the leg stump but that tracking was taken off air and after a few seconds, another tracking was shown. This time, the ball was clipping the stump.
On both occasions, the tracking showed the ball was pitching in line, the impact was ‘umpire’s call’ but had different paths for the final trajectory of the ball. It is not often that two different ball-trackings are shown on DRS replays.
The second one was considered to be the final one. As van der Dussen was given out on the field, the third umpire had no reason to change the double ‘umpire’s call’ verdict on DRS.
Needless to say, van der Dussen was absolutely gutted. He walked back fuming for 21. It was an important moment in the game as South Africa were cruising in their 21-run chase. Van der Dussen’s wicket gave Pakistan an opportunity to come back into the match and so they did by picking up another crucial wicket of Heinrich Klaasen (12).
Minutes after van der Dussen was given out, screenshots of the two different ball-tracking replays went viral. Fans cried foul and demanded an explanation from the broadcasters and the ICC.
The parent body did come up with a prompt reply. ICC accepted that the first graphic was shown ‘erroneously’ during the LBW appeal against van der Dussen but asserted that the correct one was shown afterwards and eventually, the right call was made.
“In today’s match between South Africa and Pakistan, an incomplete graphic was erroneously displayed during the LBW review of Rassie van der Dussen. The completed graphic with the right details was ultimately displayed,” said an ICC spokesperson.
That was not the only time DRS was under the scanner during the match. Right towards the end, Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf trapped South Africa’s last batter Tabraiz Shamsi in front of the stumps in the last ball of the 46th over. Umpire Alax Wharf, however, thought it was going down leg and adjudged it not out. Pakistan immediately went for a review.
Replays showed the ball was pitching in line, the impact was in line but as Haris was bowling from wide of the crease, the DRS ball-tracking projected that the ball would have come in sharply with the angle and instead of smashing onto the stumps, it would have clipped it.
As soon as ‘umpire’s call’ flashed on the big screen, the Pakistan players were distraught. It not only denied them a wicket but also the match as it was the last South African pair.
As it turned out, Keshav Maharaj hit a boundary in the 48th over to seal a memorable one-wicket win for South Africa to take them to the top of the table while Pakistan were pushed to the brink of elimination.