'Much better if he did another job' – Hasaranga censures umpire over non-no-ball call

Umpire Lyndon Hannibal not penalising Wafadar Momand’s high full toss to Kamindu Mendis did not go well with Sri Lanka’s captain

Andrew Fidel Fernando

22-Feb-2024 • 36 mins ago

Wanindu Hasaranga: “There was a situation where you could review those calls before, but the ICC has got rid of that”  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s T20I captain Wanindu Hasaranga has said outright that umpire Lyndon Hannibal should find another job, after Hannibal had deemed a high full toss as a legal delivery during a tense final over in the third T20I against Afghanistan in Dambulla.

Hasaranga’s scathing comments came after Hannibal, the square-leg umpire, did not call a no-ball when a Wafadar Momand delivery passed batter Kamindu Mendis well above waist height without pitching. Kamindu had shuffled down the pitch, but the delivery nevertheless would have likely arrived higher than his waist had he been standing upright at the popping crease. This would constitute a no-ball as per the ICC’s playing conditions.

Still, Hasaranga was extraordinarily critical, though he did not refer to Hannibal by name.

“That kind of thing shouldn’t happen in an international match,” Hasaranga said of the incident. “If it had been close [to waist height], that’s not a problem. But a ball that’s going so high… it would have hit the batsman’s head if it had gone a little higher.

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“If you can’t see that, that umpire isn’t suited to international cricket. It would be much better if he did another job.”

Sri Lanka needed 11 runs off the last three balls when this occurred. As the delivery was deemed legal, and Kamindu made no contact with the full toss, they ended up needing 11 off the last two.

After the umpires deemed it a fair delivery, Kamindu was seen asking for the no-ball, and is understood to have also requested a review. However, the current ICC playing conditions do not allow player reviews for umpire decisions that do not involve potential dismissals. In fact, umpires themselves cannot initiate third-umpire reviews on no-balls, unless there is a dismissal at stake.

“There was a situation where you could review those calls before, but the ICC has got rid of that,” Hasaranga said. “Our batsmen tried to review that. If the third umpire is able to check the front-foot no-ball, he should check this kind of no-ball as well. There’s no reason why they can’t. They didn’t do even that, so I’m not sure what was going on in his (the square-leg umpire’s) mind at the time.”

The ICC’s playing conditions define this kind of no-ball as: “Any delivery, which passes or would have passed, without pitching, above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease…”

Sri Lanka went on to lose the match by three runs to give Afghanistan their only victory of the tour, although the hosts won the series 2-1.

Wanindu HasarangaLyndon HannibalSri LankaSri Lanka vs AfghanistanSri Lanka vs Afghanistan

Andrew Fidel Fernando is a senior writer at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf

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