Umpiring blunder in allowing Rohit to bat in 2nd Super Over? What ICC rules say… | Crickit
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Did umpires commit blunder by allowing Rohit Sharma to bat in 2nd Super Over? What ICC rules say on 'retire out/hurt'

Jan 18, 2024 06:32 PM IST

Did umpires Sharma and Madanagopal make a massive error by allowing Rohit to bat in the second Super Over? On the surface area, it does look like that unless…

Rohit Sharma was the differentiator between India and Afghanistan in the third T20I at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. From 22/4, it was because of Rohit (121*) that India managed to put up a score of 212. Of course, Rinku Singh played his part too with a brilliant 69* off 39 balls but it was the Indian captain who showed the world that he still belongs in this format. It was his fifth T20I century - the first male cricketer to do so. His his job wasn't over. Rohit had to come out and bat not once but twice again as a double Super Over was needed to decide the winner on Wednesday. Thus, Rohit became the first Indian to bat three times in an international match. And he played his part in each of those Super Overs. All the boundaries India hit - three sixes and a four - in the two Super Overs combined, came from Rohit's bat. After he was finally done batting, he threw the ball to Ravi Bishnoi - a leg-spinner - to defend 11 in the second Super Over and it paid off. India won the match by 10 runs (in the second over) as Bishnoi got two wickets in three balls.

Rohit Sharma shaking hands with teammates as umpires congratulate each other after IND vs AFG 3rd T20I(BCCI)
Rohit Sharma shaking hands with teammates as umpires congratulate each other after IND vs AFG 3rd T20I(BCCI)

But the result could well have been different if Rohit wasn't allowed to bat the second time in Super Over. After the fifth ball of India's chase in the first Super Over, an interesting development took place. Rohit decided to walk off the field and Rinku charged in without wearing a helmet. India needed two runs off the final ball, and knowing he wouldn't get to bat again, the Indian captain decided to walk off and send Rinku in, who could obviously run better than a tiring Rohit. But was he allowed to do that? Yes, there is nothing in the rules that stops the batter from doing so.

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The Afghanistan players were taken aback for sure. Captain Ibrahim Zadran was seen having a lengthy discussion with umpires Virender Sharma and Jayaraman Madanagopal, but the decision stood.

Here is what the laws say about a retiring batter

"A batter may retire at any time during his innings when the ball is dead. The umpires, before allowing play to proceed, shall be informed of the reason for a batter retiring."

"If a batter retires because of illness, injury or any other unavoidable cause, that batter is entitled to resume his innings. If for any reason this does not happen, that batter is to be recorded as 'Retired – not out'.

"If a batter retires for any reason other than as in clause 25.4.2, the innings of that batter may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason his innings is not resumed, that batter is to be recorded as ‘Retired – out’."

So was Rohit retired out or retired hurt? That is where all the confusion lies. There was nothing to suggest that Rohit was injured or ill. If he was, then he wouldn't have come out to bat in the next Super Over. Then obviously, he was retired out, right? Yes, technically. There has been no official confirmation on the same but by the looks of it, there was no other way for India to send in another batter apart from 'retired out Rohit'.

Here's where the Super Over playing conditions come in. If Rohit was 'retired out', he should not have been allowed to bat in the next set of six balls. The Super Over playing conditions clearly state: "Any batter dismissed in any previous Super Over shall be ineligible to bat in any subsequent Super Over." The same law applies to the bowlers and that is why neither Mukesh Kumar nor Azmatullah Omarzai bowled in the subsequent Super Over.

What do the Super Over rules say about the eligibility of a batter and a bowler?

Then how come Rohit batted again? Did umpires Sharma and Madanagopal make a massive error? It can't be said with certainty. We still don't know whether Rohit retired hurt or retired out. On the surface area, it does look like the umpires made a blunder - there was nothing to suggest Rohit was injured - unless they had spoken to the Afghanistan team and they allowed it. The rules say that a batter retiring without injury or illness will remain 'retired not out' and can come out to bat later but only if the fielding team allows it.

The chances of that appear to be slim as the Afghanistan players didn't want Rohit to go off like that in the first place. Things happened so thick and fast, that it is difficult to judge the conversation (if any) that may have taken place between players and umpires.

Rohit batting in the subsequent Super Over turned out to be significant. The Indian captain hit a six and a four off the first two balls, and despite India losing their two allotted wickets in the next three balls, the 11 runs they got proved to be enough as spinner Ravi Bishnoi struck twice in his first three balls to win the match.

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