1st Test begins with DRS controversy

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Sri Lanka were left disappointed after being denied a review by on-field umpire Aleem Dar, when they were deemed to have taken too long to make the signal to refer the decision to the 3rd umpire.

Vishwa Fernando got Sri Lanka off to the perfect start, picking up Dean Elgar caught behind in the 2nd over of the day – bringing veteran and an out of form Hashim Amla to the crease. The right-hander was struck right in front with the 2nd all he faced, but despite a big appeal from the Sri Lankans, umpire Dar was unmoved. After much consultation, Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Dimuth Karunaratne signaled to the umpire that they would like to use one of the two reviews available to them. However, the umpire did not send the decision to the third umpire, indicating that the visitors had taken too long to make the signal to use DRS.

Karunaratne and co. accepted the decision and carried on but the commentary team, including the likes of West Indies Legend Michael Holding and Mike Haysman, with the assistance of the broadcast team suggested that just 13 seconds had passed between the umpire giving his ruling and Sri Lanka making the signal to refer the decision to the 3rd Umpire.

To add salt to Sri Lanka’s wounds, replays showed that the ball was pitching in line, hitting Amla in line and was going on to hit the stumps.

Image courtesy – SA Cricket Magazine (twitter)

The rule according to Appendix D in the ICC’s Men’s Test Match Playing Conditions states the following:

3.2.2 The total time elapsed between the ball becoming dead and the review request being made shall be no more than 15 seconds. The only exception permitted shall be when an Umpire Review for Fair Catch or Bump Ball (as permitted in paragraph 2.2 above) is required to answer an appeal for a caught decision, in which case either team is able to request a Player Review of that caught decision within 15 seconds of the decision being communicated. The bowler’s end umpire shall provide the relevant player with a prompt after 10 seconds if the request has not been made at that time and the player shall request the review immediately thereafter. If the on-field umpires believe that a request has not been made within the 15 second time limit, they shall decline the request for a Player Review.

What was more confusing was the fact that Umpire Dar did not prompt the Sri Lankans when 10 seconds had elapsed after his initial decision was communicated.

Fortunately for the visitors, Amla was unable to capitalize on the reprieve and was dismissed by Suranga Lakmal a few overs later for 3.