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Explained | Virat Kohli's controversial dismissal in RCB vs KKR: What is popping crease & what the rules say

Virat Kohli's waist was at a height of 1.04 meters from the ground in an upright position (without bending the knee). When experts assessed Kohli's position— they found had Kohli stayed inside the crease, Rana's delivery would've reached him at a height of 0.92 meters, as a result of which it was declared a legitimate delivery.
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 08:46 IST
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 08:46 IST

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RCB batter Virat Kohli, who arrived at the Eden Gardens cricket pitch as one of the openers with Captain Faf Du Plessis, was bowled out by KKR's Harshit Rana in his first delivery of the second over on Sunday. However, the decision was not well received by Kohli, who was also seen getting into a verbal confrontation with the umpire before the former was spotted banging his bat on the field as he walked to the pavilion.

Kolkata Knight Riders' Rana bowled a slow full toss to Kohli, which the latter hit while stepping out of the crease. Many RCB fans initially were of the notion that the umpire delayed declaring Rana's delivery a no-ball— a feeling that even Kohli was apparently seen discussing with team mates in the pavilion as cameras panned in during the game.

Kohli stepped forward leaving the crease

While commentator and former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu was seen defending Kohli's aggression over the umpire's non-action to call it a no ball, cricketer Irfan Pathan was also in the commentary box at the time, and explained how it was not a no-ball, and what the rule is.

Rana had bowled a slow full toss to Kohli which could have tipped the ground if Kohli had remained in the crease. A delivery above waist height is declared a no ball only when the ball reaches the batter at the popping crease. But this was not the case in Rana's delivery to Kohli. According to Merraim Webster, popping crease is the line 4 feet in front of and parallel with either bowling crease that marks the forward limit of the batter's ground.

What's the rule around deliveries like Rana's?

The rule 41.7 of the International Cricket Council regulations titled 'Bowling of dangerous and unfair non-pitching deliveries' states: "Any delivery, which passes or would have passed, without pitching, above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease, is to be deemed to be unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker. If the bowler bowls such a delivery the umpire shall immediately call and signal No ball."

The metrics

Rana's delivery to Kohli was observed by the umpire as a legitimate ball, and it is also observed in the video that the impact between the bat and the ball was also quite ahead of the body. Unlike the previous IPL seasons, the height of all players across teams were measured this time.

Virat Kohli's waist was at a height of 1.04 meters from the ground in an upright position (without bending the knee). When experts assessed Kohli's position— they found had Kohli stayed inside the crease, Rana's delivery would've reached him at a height of 0.92 meters, resulting which it was declared a normal delivery.

After the match, RCB Captain Faf Du Plessis referred to the rules and asserted, "Obviously, the rules are the rules. Virat and myself at that stage thought that possibly the ball was higher than his waist. I guess they measure it on the popping crease."

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Published 22 April 2024, 08:46 IST

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