Sunil Gavaskar hits back at Ben Stokes after umpire's call saves Ben Duckett

Updated - 23 Feb 2024, 05:35 PM

Sunil Gavaskar, Ben Stokes
[PC: X/Twitter]

Days after Ben Stokes said that the umpire’s call should be scrapped, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has taken a sly dig at the critics of the contentious rule.

The legendary cricketer’s comments came after England opener Ben Duckett was adjudged not out despite the ball-tracking system showing the ball clipping the stumps after an LBW call. The former cricketer highlighted the importance of the umpire’s call, stating that Test matches would be done in less than three days if the rule is scrapped.

Talking about the incident involving Duckett, it took place in the ninth over when he was facing left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. After the ball hit the England opener on his pads, Indian fielders appealed for an LBW dismissal but umpire Kumar Dharmasena gave his decision in the favour of the England batsman.

Sunil Gavaskar on umpire’s call:

India decided to review the decision and replays suggested that the ball was hitting Duckett outside the line of the off-stump. However, the ball-tracking showed at least some part of it was hitting him in line while the ball was hitting just the top of the stumps. It was an umpire’s call and the England opener survived.

Reacting to the decision, Sunil Gavaskar said on air: “Have a look at this. This is the umpire’s call. All those who are saying the umpire’s call should be done away with, on replay (on this instance), the ball was hitting the stumps, which meant, Duckett ‘good bye’.

“In case, the umpire’s call is done away with and the ball is hitting the stumps, it will be given out. This is Test cricket, most matches will finish in 2-and-half-days,” he added while speaking on Sports 18 during commentary.

Earlier, Stokes had called for the rule to be scrapped as he expressed his disappointment over Zak Crawley’s dismissal in the third Test. Crawley had to walk back in the second innings of the game after the umpire’s call went India’s way.

“Yeah, just about Zak’s DRS. He was just giving us some information around how it was judged to be given out when the balls did not hit the stumps on the DRS. The ball did not hit the stumps on replay. It was apparently that numbers said that it hit the stump, but the image was wrong. So I don’t really understand what’s going on there,” Stokes had said.

Talking about the ongoing game, England were on 240 for 6 at the time of writing this report. The visitors were reeling at 57 for 3 and then 112 for 5 before a 113-run stand between Joe Root and Ben Foakes steadied the ship. India are currently leading the series 2-1.

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Ben Stokes England National Cricket Team IND vs ENG 2024 India National Cricket Team Sunil Gavaskar