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The umpire’s big ‘mistake’ leaves Virat Kohli enraged in Calcutta

Controversy arose in the IPL match between RCB and KKR when Virat Kohli was dismissed by the umpires after a questionable call on Sunday.

Controversy erupted in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as Virat Kohli was sent off following a questionable decision by the umpires at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

After Shreyas Iyer-led KKR posted a healthy 222/6 on the board, RCB’s opening pair of Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis had their work cut out for them as they needed a blistering start to their chase and the former started explosively, hitting a boundary and maximum in the first over of his side’s essay.

The 35-year-old talismanic batsman followed it up with another sumptuous six over the long-on boundary off Mitchell Starc’s bowling to take RCB’s score to 27/0 in just 2 overs.

However, drama unfolded on the first delivery of the next over when Harshit Rana produced a high full toss to surprise Virat Kohli. As he was catapulted into the shot, the former RCB skipper couldn’t find the timing and the ball flew into the air. He was then caught and bowled by Harshit Rana and KKR, and the home side’s fans erupted in celebration at the historic venue.

But to the naked eye, it looked like a no-ball that went over the waist, and Virat Kohli called for a review. But his DRS call was not taken into consideration as the on-field referee himself had referred the decision to the third referee.

England umpire Michael Gough, who occupied the third umpire’s chair, ruled out Virat Kohli and infuriated the latter so much that the Delhi-born cricketer argued with the on-field umpires before leaving the ground. Later, he was clicked hitting the boundary rope with his bat in anger.

Cricket expert Harsha Bhogle, who was commentating on the match at the time of the incident, stated: “RCB has been robbed here.”

According to the ICC rule for over-the-waist deliveries: “Any delivery, which passes or would have passed, without throwing, above the waist height of the attacker standing upright at the popping crease shall be considered unfair, whether or not it is likely that the attacker will suffer bodily harm. If the bowler bowls such a bowl, the umpire shall immediately call and signal No ball.”

The incident caused quite a stir on social media, with Virat Kohli’s former RCB teammate and ex-South Africa captain AB de Villiers calling the decision a ‘gray area in the game’.

“Grey areas in the game provide room for anger and confusion. It’s not a difficult solution, this. Determine the batter’s stance, draw the lines and use ball tracking. No confusion at all,” said AB de Villiers in a post on X.

Virat Kohli would have hurt even more when RCB lost by the narrowest of margins in a last-over thriller. With 21 needed to win in the 20th over, Karn Sharma reduced the equation to 3 off 2 balls after giving Mitchell Starc three sixes in the first four balls.

Just when it looked like RCB would run away with their second win of IPL 2024, Mitchell Starc dismissed Karn Sharma on the fifth delivery before running out Lockie Ferguson on the next, leaving the South India-based team heartbroken.

After the crushing loss, Virat Kohli’s team now find themselves at the bottom of the table with just one win in eight matches in the 17th edition of the IPL, almost ending their hopes of making it to the play-offs.

Earlier, former RCB player Varun Aaron and cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra criticized the ongoing struggles in the cash-rich league, highlighting that the franchise was too dependent on Virat Kohli to win matches.

“At this point of the table, if you have to be somewhere at the top of the table or in the middle of the table, you have to have domestic players who are shooting and you can’t always rely on Virat Kohli. The other guys have to step up and all their money is in the dugout too. You can’t spend so much money on players and not let them play,” Varon Aaron told Star Sports.

“Bangalore is a good team but they are not playing well. How are they good? It is because they have Virat Kohli in the batting and a team with Virat Kohli cannot be bad. Faf du Plessis is not a bad player either. He also played well in the last match. Faf’s season has gone beyond expectations considering the form he came in, but the team has not played well,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“A broken record starts playing one more time. I say Virat Kohli again because there is no other player apart from Virat Kohli who consistently scores runs. So you will expect it from Virat Kohli again as it is a bit of a grudge match and the Eden Gardens suits him. It’s no fun when an iconic player doesn’t score points on an iconic ground,” he concluded.