Allowed?    Getty Images
Allowed? Getty Images

It is a tense match (ideally a limited-overs contest). Teams A and B had fought tooth-and-nail till the end. Now, with one ball left in the match, A need 6 to win. While B look favourites at this stage, A are certainly not out of the match.

Khan steams in. Smith waits at the striker s end. The ball hits Smith on the pad. Khan makes a stifled customary appeal. It is irrelevant in this case. Perhaps he does it out of practice or reflex.

Smith and his partner stroll across for a leg-bye (though that is irrelevant here). Meanwhile, the umpire has ruled Smith out. The match is over. B have won by 5 runs. B s fielders have started to celebrate.

But amidst all this, Smith has suddenly sprung into action. He has raised his left hand, parallel to the ground and in front of his forehead, and has uses his right hand to form a T. Yes, there was a review left; and yes, he has reviewed.

Now, why did Smith do that? Of course, there was nothing to be gained or lost from the outcome of the DRS. Team A would lose the match either way.

Before we call Smith a foolish time-waster, let us go through the procedure first. What is the first thing the television umpire looks at?

Yes, the no-ball.

What if, in the process of going through the replays, it is found that Khan had overstepped? That will result in a free hit. That will also reduce the target to 5 from 1 ball (4 from 1 if they had run that leg-bye).

Team A will definitely stand with a chance to win then!

In other words, Smith does not want to challenge the umpire s decision. He merely wants the television umpire to go through the process: it is A s only hope of winning the match.

But the fun does not end there. Team B s captain steps in. He has realised exactly what Smith is up to and wants to withdraw the appeal.

This is where things start to get confusing. Let us check the Law 27.8 first.

Withdrawal of an appeal: The captain of the fielding side may withdraw an appeal only if he obtains the consent of the umpire within whose jurisdiction the appeal falls. He must do so before the outgoing batsman has left the field of play. If such consent is given, the umpire concerned shall, if applicable, revoke his decision and recall the batsman.

The confusion

That is the law. Now, suppose the umpire, for whatever reason, is in the mood to let B s captain withdraw his appeal. However, it must be remembered that Smith has already asked for the review.

Now, a batsman can always challenge an umpire s decision if the latter gave him out to give him out. DRS Law 3.1.c on ICC s website clearly states: Only the batsman involved in a dismissal may request a Player Review of an Out decision and only the captain (or acting captain) of the fielding team may request a Player Review of a Not Out decision.

In other words, while the batsman can challenge the decision of being given out; but he cannot challenge if the umpire has made up to let the opposition captain withdraw the appeal.

To rephrase, a batsman can challenge a decision of being given out but not when he has been judged not out.

But then, Smith has already reviewed…

What do you think?