MP halts play due to Rana’s controversial non-dismissal

Naman Ojha and his team were dismayed by a ‘caught out’ verdict reversed after Delhi batsman Nitish Rana insisted it was a bump ball.

Delhi’s Nitish Rana in action against Madhya Pradesh at the Palam Ground in New Delhi on Thursday.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

 

The Vijay Hazare Trophy fixture between Delhi and Madhya Pradesh — at the Palam ground here on Thursday — was halted for 13 minutes due to a controversial umpiring decision.

On-field umpires Navdeep Singh Sidhu and Rajeev Godara were surrounded by MP players and captain Naman Ojha was venting his ire. It was so demonstrative that Ojha’s arguments with the umpires could be heard across the ground.

The reason for the alarm was the ambiguity surrounding Nitish Rana’s not-out verdict in the 29th over when the batsman was on 26.

Rana had attempted a sweep, and was caught by the fine-leg fielder. After consultation with the square-leg umpire, possibly to ascertain whether the ball had carried to the fielder, Godara signalled out.

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The MP side, who were in a huddle, celebrated the verdict. But Rana didn’t leave. Instead, he told the umpire that “it was a bump ball [sic],” i.e., the ball had hit the ground immediately after hitting the bat. This led to Godara reversing his decision.

With the MP team unrelenting, the umpires sought the assistance of match referee Nitin Goel. His intervention helped in the game being resumed with Rana continuing his innings, much to the disappointment of the MP team. Naman was heard asking the umpire how, on a batsman’s insistence, the decision could be reversed.

Rana, who went on to score a match-winning century, revealed, “I just told the umpires that it was a bump ball [sic]. I didn’t have any influence on what happened after that. Naman was obviously arguing with the umpires but I had just made my point to the umpires and left it to them to decide.”

Naman has been charged with a code of conduct violation, Goel confirmed after the contest.