T20 World Cup: Australian umpire Simon Taufel gives his verdict on free-hit controversy

Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik ran three after Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz bowled the former Indian captain off a free hit in the last over

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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India's Virat Kohli is bowled off a free-hit ball during the ICC T20 World Cup match against Pakistan. (AFP)
India's Virat Kohli is bowled off a free-hit ball during the ICC T20 World Cup match against Pakistan. (AFP)

Published: Tue 25 Oct 2022, 2:54 PM

Legendary Australian umpire Simon Taufel rubbished the conspiracy claims over the last-over free hit during the dramatic ICC T20 World Cup match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Chasing 160, India won the humdinger by four wickets in a dramatic last-ball finish, thanks to a majestic 82 not out off 53 balls by Virat Kohli.


Kohli and Dinesh Karthik ran three after Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz bowled the former Indian captain off a free hit in the last over.

As the two Indian batsmen completed three runs before the third man fielder could throw the ball back after it hit the stumps, the Pakistan players looked utterly confused.


Captain Babar Azam and his teammates remonstrated with the on-field umpires, asking them to declare it a dead ball.

The umpires eventually gave three byes to the Indian team, sparking a big controversy on social media.

But Taufel, widely considered as one of the best umpires of all time, said the on-field umpired in Melbourne made the right decision.

"After the exciting climax to the India v Pakistan match at the MCG last night, I've been asked by many to explain the Byes that India scored after Kohli was bowled off the free hit," Taufel wrote on Linkdin.

"The umpire made the right decision in signalling Byes after the batters ran three following the ball hitting the stumps and rolling down to 3rd man. For a free hit, the striker cannot be out bowled and therefore the ball is NOT dead on hitting the stumps - the ball is still in play and all conditions under the Laws for Byes are satisfied."


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