“They should take away ‘umpire’s call'” – Ben Stokes on Zak Crawley’s close LBW decision
By SMCS - Feb 20, 2024 10:00 am
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England skipper Ben Stokes has called for the umpire’s call to be scrapped after a close decision went against England batter Zak Crawley on day 4 of the 3rd Test against India in Rajkot. The veteran also believes that the decision must be absolute. With Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery hitting Crawley’s pads, umpire Kumar Dharmasena gave it out in the ninth over of England’s second innings. The England opener opted for DRS and the ball-tracker showed that it marginally clipped the leg stump as well, forcing Crawley to walk out. Following the match, Stokes and McCullum were seen chatting with match referee Jeff Crowe about this as well.

Joe Root
Joe Root and Zak Crawley

Speaking to media after the match, Stokes said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo: “We’ve been on the wrong end of three umpire’s calls this game and that is part of DRS. You’re either on the right side or the wrong side. Unfortunately, we’ve been on the wrong side. You just want a level playing field. The umpires have an incredibly hard job as it is, especially in India when the ball is spinning.””My personal opinion is if the ball is hitting the stumps, it is hitting the stumps. They should take away ‘umpire’s call’ if I’m being perfectly honest. I don’t want to get too much into it because it sounds like we are moaning and saying that is why we lost the Test match.”

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Meanwhile, Ollie Pope also seemed to be dissatisfied with the decision to give him out in the first innings in Rajkot where the ball-tracking showed it was hitting leg-stump despite the ball hitting the batter above the knee-roll. Stokes also added that he didn’t quite understand the referee’s explanation after the match as well.

Ollie Pope
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“It came back saying the numbers, or whatever it is that is, it was saying that it was hitting the stumps but it was the projection that was wrong. I don’t know what that means. Something’s gone wrong, so, yeah. I’m not saying and never will say that’s the reason why we’ve lost this game, because 500 is a lot of runs. It is not something you pin down to result of the game. Sometimes when you are on the wrong end of those decisions it hurts but that is part of the game,” Ben Stokes concluded.