Wanindu Hasaranga launches a scathing attack on the on-field umpire after Sri Lanka lose the final T20I against Afghanistan

Updated - 22 Feb 2024, 01:48 PM

Sri Lanka leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga roars after taking a wicket
Sri Lanka leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga roars after taking a wicket Image: Getty

Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga, on Wednesday (February 21), launched a scathing attack towards on-field umpire Lyndon Hannibal for one of his decisions during the third T20I against Afghanistan in Dambulla.

The leg-spinner was not at all happy with the umpire’s decision to call a high full toss a legal delivery during the thrilling game. The incident occurred on the fourth ball of the final over when the Islanders needed 11 runs on the last three balls while chasing 210. Hannibal was the square-leg umpire when Wafadar Momand bowled the high full toss to Kamindu Mendis.

Mendis swung his bat but could not make any contact with the ball. He straightaway looked at the umpire, expecting him to signal a no-ball for a high full toss. However, Hannibal decided to give his decision in the favour of the bowler. Replays showed that the ball was indeed over the waist and it should have been called a no-ball.

Wanindu Hasaranga slams umpire:

After the game ended, Wanindu Hasaranga did not mince his words as he slammed the umpire for his decision. The Sri Lanka star was extraordinarily critical as he vented his frustration over the dubious call. Although he did not refer to Hannibal by name, he said that the umpire is not suited to international cricket and should pursue another job.

“That kind of thing shouldn’t happen in an international match. If it had been close [to waist height], that’s not a problem. But a ball that’s going so high… it would have hit the batsman’s head if it had gone a little higher,” said Wanindu Hasaranga.

“If you can’t see that, that umpire isn’t suited to international cricket. It would be much better if he did another job,” he added.

Wanindu Hasaranga also talked about the umpire’s decision to turn down Mendis’ call for a review. After Hannibal called the full toss a legal delivery, the Sri Lanka player asked for a review but it was too late. Speaking about that, the Sri Lanka captain said:

“There was a situation where you could review those calls before, but the ICC has got rid of that. Our batsmen tried to review that. If the third umpire is able to check the front-foot no-ball, he should check this kind of no-ball as well. There’s no reason why they can’t. They didn’t do even that, so I’m not sure what was going on in his (the square-leg umpire’s) mind at the time.”

Sri Lanka went on to lose the game by three runs. The hosts, however, ended up winning the three-match series 2-1.

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