Did Dilruwan Perera receive an indication from the dressing room when he started walking back after being adjudged leg-before? Despite speculations, there is no evidence yet that the Sri Lankan got a signal from the dressing room that forced him to ask for a review.
The incident occurred in the first hour of play when Perera, yet to open his account, was given out by umpire Nigel Llong following a vociferous Mohammed Shami appeal; the ball, nipping back, had struck Perera on his back pad.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder, changing his mind after trekking towards the pavilion, asked for the DRS and replays showed the delivery hitting the batsman outside the line. Perera survived and extended the Lankan lead with Rangana Herath; the duo added 43 for the eighth wicket.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) later said in a statement, “Contrary to the assumptions made, there was no ‘message from the dressing room’ involved in the requested review.”
SLC said its cricketers always wanted to uphold the spirit of the game and the ICC rules and added, “Having mistakenly assumed that Sri Lanka was out of reviews, Dilruwan Perera had turned to leave the field when he heard Rangana Herath inquire from the on-field umpire if Sri Lanka have any reviews left, to which Mr. Long answered in the affirmative. It was then that Dilruwan requested the review.”
Herath said after the day’s play. “I asked Mr. Llong whether there was a review left. Dilruwan probably heard it as well and probably opted for a review.”
There is another critical element to the episode. Earlier in the morning, Dasun Shanaka was dismissed leg-before by Bhuvneshwar Kumar on what was an “umpire’s call.”
According to the latest ICC rules, the “umpires call” is no longer counted as a lost review. Had the previous rule been in place, Sri Lanka would have run out of reviews, but now they had one remaining when Shami’s leg-before shout against Perera was upheld.
The incident brought back memories of the infamous Steve Smith incident during the Bengaluru Test earlier in the year. In that case, Smith appeared to be signalling to the pavilion for instructions, was subsequently stopped by the umpires from taking a review, and later admitted it was a “brain fade.”