Former Indian cricketers, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan, have spoken out against what they perceived as contentious umpiring decisions that had a substantial impact on Pakistan’s narrow defeat to South Africa in yesterday’s 2023 World Cup match held in Chennai.
Harbhajan took to social media platform ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) to express his dissatisfaction with the situation. He argued that the rule of ‘umpire’s call’ should be revised.
“Bad umpiring and bad rules cost Pakistan this game. ICC should change this rule; if the ball is hitting the stump, that’s out, whether the umpire gave out or not out doesn’t matter… otherwise, what is the use of technology?” wrote Harbhajan Singh.
Bad umpiring and bad rules cost Pakistan this game.. @ICC should change this rule .. if the ball is hitting the stump that’s out whether umpire gave out or not out doesn’t matter.. otherwise what is the use of technology??? @TheRealPCB vs #SouthAfrica #worldcup
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) October 27, 2023
Irfan echoed Harbhajan’s sentiments, suggesting that two crucial decisions had gone against the Men in Green during the match.
“Two calls went against team Pakistan. Wide and LBW. Looks like South Africa got some luck with a solid game this World Cup,” wrote Irfan Pathan.
Two calls went against team Pakistan. Wide and LBW. Looks like South Africa got some Luck with solid game this World Cup… #PAKvSA
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 27, 2023
However, former captain, Graeme Smith, did not shy away from defending the umpire’s decision, pointing out that a similar ‘umpire’s call’ had gone against South Africa as well.
“Bhajji, I feel the same as you on the umpires call, but Rassie and South Africa can have the same feeling?” Smith wrote.
— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) October 27, 2023
The turning point of the match came on the last ball of the 46th over, with South Africa still needing 8 runs to secure victory. Pakistan’s Haris Rauf delivered a ball that pitched on a length and struck Tabraiz Shamsi on the front foot, creating a substantial gap between the bat and the pad.
The on-field umpire did not rule Shamsi out, sparking controversy and intense debate among cricket enthusiasts.
This is the first time in World Cup history that Pakistan suffered back-to-back four consecutive defeats.