Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal believes umpires should adjudge a batter out if the ball hits the stumps and lights up the bails even if they are not dislodged.
Chahal’s reaction came after a lucky reprieve for Delhi Capitals opener David Warner during a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) match against the Royals on May 11. Chahal thought he removed David Warner on 22 with a sharp leg-break that flicked a bail. However, the bail fell back into the groove even as the LED lights flashed momentarily to lift the bowler and skipper Sanju Samson’s spirits.
Warner remained unbeaten on 52 as the Capitals chased down a 161-run target to earn a crucial win in its playoffs race.
Chahal reflected on the incident with ESPNCricinfo and said: “Since it was first time this happened with me, even I was shocked because the ball hit the wickets and the bails did not fall.
“If such a thing happens at a crucial time especially with a batsman like Warner, who does not offer too many chances… so, if he had got out at that juncture then probably the match result could have been different,” Chahal added, while favouring a change in the rule.
David Warner reacts after receiving a reprieve off Yuzvendra Chahal. – SPORTZPICS
What are Cricket’s rules on bails
The LED-stump technology is currently being used to review three forms of dismissals: bowled, stumpings, and run-outs. According to the current rules, the bails need to fall off the top of the stumps completely for a batter to be adjudged out.
Law 29.1.2 Marylebone Cricket Club’s Laws of Cricket states “The disturbance of a bail, whether temporary or not, shall not constitute its complete removal from the top of the stumps, but if a bail in falling lodges between two of the stumps this shall be regarded as complete removal.”
Previous incidents with Zings bails
This is not the first instance of Zings bails not getting dislodged in the IPL. In the 2019 season, three incidents had batters remaining at the crease when the bails failed to fall off the groove, despite the ball hitting the stumps.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Chris Lynn (against Rajasthan Royals), CSK skipper MS Dhoni (against Rajasthan Royals) and Punjab batter KL Rahul (against Chennai Super Kings) were at the receiving end of some good fortune.
The Zings was first introduced in Australia’s Big Bash League in 2012 before being adopted by the ICC in international cricket the same year. It was first used in the IPL in 2016 and has been part of the league since.
The Zings bails also courted controversy during the 2019 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup. The bails failed to dislodge on as many as five occasions in the first 13 games – leaving its makers stumped. “The Zing wicket system has operated in well over a thousand games and this issue has not happened frequently. The recent cluster currently has us stumped,” Zings company director David Ligertwood told Sportstar then.
“Competing interests do need to be balanced in this context. For example, the game doesn’t want the bails coming off too easily (making it difficult for umpires to place them without holding up play and meaning the wind may blow them off too often). And, for example, they need to not break.
“This issue is obviously important as the game wants batsmen being dismissed when they should be. But even with this unusual spate of bails not falling it remains definitive and it remains the same for both sides,” Ligertwood added. While the incidents raised an outcry, the ICC affirmed that it will not review the system of the Zing bails.
Earlier this year, the Zings bails worked in favour of England’s Nat Sciver in a match against India during the Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand. Sciver went onto score a crucial 45 as England beat India by four wickets.