In the first ODI of the India Women's tour of West Indies, the visitors needed two to win from the final ball with Poonam Yadav on strike. However, it's the penultimate ball which has drawn conversation all around. At this crucial phase, she was run out with her bat well outside the crease when the bails were taken off.
Although she and the West Indies players knew it, the on-field umpire failed to agree. Surely the third umpire could have altered the decision. But alas, there is no third umpire for this series! That Poonam went on to be dismissed next ball meant the match result wasn't compromised but it could well have been.
West Indies should have won the match two balls earlier, but the umpire adjudged that Mohammed hadn't run out Yadav, whose bat got caught as she tried to slide it in.#IWC #WIvIND pic.twitter.com/Ix2epP1K0w— hypocaust (@_hypocaust) November 2, 2019
In the third ODI at Antigua, Taniya Bhatia's gloves removed the bails even as the ball slipped out of her hands. The batswoman, Hayley Mathews, was well outside the crease and was promptly sent on her way but the replays showed that Bhatia had no ball in her hands when the stumps were removed.
TROUBLE & BAD LUCK— Women's CricInsight (@WCI_Official) November 6, 2019
Poonam's direct throw from short third man sees @MyNameIs_Hayley's run-out.
It looks like the stumps have broken by @IamTaniyaBhatia's gloves instead of the ball.
Unlucky @MyNameIs_Hayley as no third umpire is available!
WI: 40-3 (13.2)#WIvIND
With no third umpire, another howler, despite getting noticed, could not be altered. The lack of a third umpire in a series where multiple replays are available and streaming is also on is difficult to understand.
Even in the very first women’s global event, 10 matches were televised and also had DRS, but a few of the other matches were only live-streamed and those had no third umpire. Another howler in a match between Australia Women and West Indies Women in the 2017 Women's World Cup became a talking point then.
It's two years since then but little has changed in this area despite the leaps and bounds by which women's cricket has grown. A sample of this is here - news agencies put out a piece of news stating that the Rajkot T20I between India Men's team and Bangladesh would be Rohit Sharma's 100th, making him the first Indian to the landmark.
Factually, this is wrong as Harmanpreet Kaur has already achieved this feat for India. Women's cricket remains underrated and overlooked despite the interest growing around it.
This is also a case of financial concern given that the home board is required to have six sets of stationary cameras for the third umpire to be provided.
The tour is not televised anywhere although the live streaming is available in several channels. Incidentally, the one West Indies Cricket has on YouTube is geo-blocked in India which means that there is a very negligible chance that you can catch live action of this series. Even the live stream setup placed do not meet ICC’s requirements for third umpires.
While BCCI always adheres to ICC rules and has six cameras for all games, not all boards are that financially stable. Despite the crowds growing in women's games and stunning athletic catches being taken, women's cricket continues to get a step-motherly treatment and this series has further emphasized the need to have better structure and norms in place to avoid damp squibs.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / BCCIWomen