Virat Kohli scored a scintillating century to help India register a comprehensive victory over Bangladesh in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. However, a controversial decision by umpire Richard Kettleborough not to call a wide in the final over of the match has sparked a debate on social media. With India two runs away from victory, Bangladesh spinner Nasum Ahmed bowled a delivery down the leg-side. Kohli, who was batting on 97, left the ball alone.
However, Kettleborough did not signal a wide, much to the dismay of many fans and experts. Some people believe that Kettleborough intentionally allowed Kohli to get his century, while others believe that he simply made a mistake. However, it is important to note that a new law was introduced in 2022 which could have played a role in Kettleborough’s decision.
The new law states that a delivery will be called a wide if it passes where the batter is standing, where the batter has stood at any point since the bowler began their run up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position. In this case, Kohli was standing wide of the leg-side when the ball was bowled. It is possible that Kettleborough believed that the ball would have hit Kohli if he had not moved out of the way. Therefore, under the new law, the delivery would not be considered a wide.
Contrarian view: umpire Richard Kettleborough not declaring Nasum’s wide ball to facilitate Virat Kohli’s is patently unfair! Umpires can’t get discretionary. @ICC umpires panel should take this seriously. And yes, I AM & REMAIN a big Kohli fan!!! 🙋🏻♂️#INDvBAN pic.twitter.com/InXBuCjrJP
— Lloyd Mathias (@LloydMathias) October 19, 2023
However, many people believe that Kohli was not standing outside the leg-side when the ball was bowled. They argue that he was still within the “normal batting position”. If this is the case, then the delivery should have been called a wide. Ultimately, only Kettleborough knows why he did not call a wide. However, the new law of cricket may have played a role in his decision.
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In addition to the legal debate, there is also a question of sportsmanship to consider. Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen of all time, and he has already scored 48 ODI centuries. It is unlikely that he would have been too upset if he had missed out on getting his century in this match.
Umpire Kettleborough had a cheeky smile when Nasum bowled in leg side while Kohli was on 97*. 👏
— Ravi Shankar shaw🇮🇳 (@RDancer09) October 19, 2023
On the other hand, Bangladesh are a developing team, and they are still trying to establish themselves as a major force in world cricket. A win in this match would have been a huge boost for them.
Given the circumstances, it is understandable why some people believe that Kettleborough should have called a wide. However, it is also important to respect the umpire’s decision. Kettleborough is a highly experienced umpire, and he is one of the best in the world. He is unlikely to have made a decision that he believed was unfair.
The debate over whether or not the delivery was a wide is likely to continue for some time. However, one thing is for sure: Virat Kohli’s century was a magnificent achievement. He is a true legend of the game, and he continues to inspire fans all over the world.