Kings XI Punjab have lodged an appeal with match referee Javagal Srinath over what they believe was an erroneous line call in the 19th over of their match against the Delhi Capitals on Sunday night. The "short run" call cost them the game, their CEO Satish Menon has said.
Umpire Nitin Menon's call for one-run short against Chris Jordan in the penultimate over of their chase, Satish Menon believes, could "cost them a playoff spot". He said that technological intervention could have given them the extra run and possibly a victory.
"We have appealed to the match referee," he told PTI. "While a human error can happen and we understand that, there is no room for human errors like these in a world-class tournament like the IPL. This one could cost us a playoff berth. A loss of a game is a loss of a game. It is unfair. I hope the rules are reviewed so that there is no margin for human error."
Menon also told ESPNcricinfo there shouldn't be any errors because of the presence of technology: "Even if you give the benefit of doubt to human error, in a Twenty20 match, a crunch match, there should be nothing called an error. Because you have got technology today for everything."
However, as per the playing conditions of both the ICC and the IPL, the umpire can use the assistance of third umpire only in cases of a possible dismissal or an unclear boundary decision. So there was no way under the rules that the on-field umpire could have sought the third umpire's inputs. The third umpire can't get into the game without being asked for by the on-field umpires or a player using a DRS review. The only exception to this is the no-ball calls, which he used to keep an eye on in cases of dismissals before he was mandated to check every delivery for overstepping.
The incident on Sunday occurred when Mayank Agarwal tapped the ball towards mid-on to comfortably complete two runs. TV replays confirmed Jordan turned for a second run only after dragging his bat inside the crease for the first run. Yet Menon, stationed at square leg, deemed it to be a run short.
Eventually, Jordan was caught at square leg off the final delivery with Kings XI needing one run for victory, thereby forcing the game into a Super Over.
Is technology foolproof?
The incident has reignited the debate about how cricket can utilise technology better for line calls. However, technology itself is not always definitive. On Sunday there was another incident that nearly became a talking point when Paul Reiffel, the TV umpire, called the last ball of the Capitals innings, bowled by Jordan to Marcus Stoinis, a no-ball.
However, ESPNcricinfo understands that the two side-on cameras monitoring the line calls for no-ball showed different results for the particluar delivery. While one camera angle showed the Kings XI bowler had stepped over the line, the other one had his foot on the line. Regardless of the conflicting pictures, it was called a no-ball, but the wider point was: for the same delivery and same foot landing, two different cameras showing two different pictures.
The short run incident could be similar to the no-ball event. It is understood that in the case of the short run, the camera angle that showed Jordan turning after the first run was from the side opposite to where Nitin Menon, the square-leg umpire, was standing. While Menon is understood to have seen Jordan's bat touching the line, the camera angle from the opposite end showed the bat crossing the line. Incidentally, the replay was shown on TV only two deliveries later.