Mumbai Indians review wide call by umpire in WPL 2023 opener against Gujarat Giants
An incident late into the first game of the marquee Women's Premier League (WPL) caught everyone's attention towards the tournament's unique set of rules and regulations.
A wide call made against bowling side Mumbai Indians (MI) was challenged on the review successfully by their skipper Harmanpreet Kaur after extras were handed to Gujarat Giants (GT) by the standing umpire.
It happened on the very last ball of the 13th over when Giants left-hander Monica Patel went for a pull shot against left-arm spinner Saika Ishaque. Patel seemingly missed the ball and that got the standing umpire to signal 'wide', enabling an extra run on the board for the batting team.
However, MI wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur were alert to the situation and asked for a DRS referral against the on-field call.
As it panned out, the review confirmed that the wide call made by the umpire was incorrect as Patel had gloved the delivery from Ishaque before it went down the leg side. Duly, the decision had to be reversed and MI could finish the over with a dot ball.
How come Harmanpreet Kaur's MI change a wide call on DRS?
That was a question brewing inside everyone's mind the moment the DRS went in favour of the Harmanpreet-led MI side. Usually, the DRS allows teams to refer against a decision made for dismissal by the on-field umpire. But in WPL, in a much-needed transformation of DRS regulation, teams can even review the wide or no-ball calls made against them.
According to the playing regulations for the WPL, law 3.1.1 pertaining to the 'circumstances in which a player review maybe requested' states: "a player review may be requested for any decision taken by the on-field umpires concerning whether or not a batter is dismissed, with the exception of ‘Timed Out’ (Player Review). A player may also be allowed to review any decision taken by on-field umpires concerning wide or no ball."
Since the player review can be taken by teams for all decisions except for instances where they have been 'timed out', WPL sides can opt for the DRS referral on extra calls, with the intention to save all runs that can make a difference to the end result.
So often in T20 cricket, it's these extra calls that separate the two sides. But in an open-minded call by the WPL officials, they've given teams the chance to save runs through DRS reviews and not just refer for dismissals.