DRS controversy: Dilruwan Perera may have got confused when I spoke to Llong, says Rangana Herath

Updated: Nov 20, 2017, 17:41 IST | Arup Chatterjee

Sri Lankan all-rounder Dilruwan Perera was dragged into a controversy at the Eden Gardens yesterday after he sought a DRS (Decision Review System) intervention on what seemed second thought

Sri Lankan all-rounder Dilruwan Perera was dragged into a controversy at the Eden Gardens yesterday after he sought a DRS (Decision Review System) intervention on what seemed second thought. It had him overturn a leg-before decision. In the 57th over of their innings, Perera was struck in front by Mohd Shami. Umpire Nigel Llong upheld the appeal. Perera turned and was on his way to the pavilion after a few words with batting partner Rangana Herath. However, he suddenly returned to claim what turned out to be a successful review through the DRS. The incident prompted some, including television commentators, to raise an eyebrow because Perera was facing the dressing room when he seemed to change his mind. The doubt expressed by commentators soon went viral on social media.

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Dilruwan Perera before the batsman reportedly looked towards the dressing room for a possible signal. Pic/AFP
India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Dilruwan Perera before the batsman reportedly looked towards the dressing room for a possible signal. Pic/AFP

Remember B'lore row?
The controversy comes not too far behind the Smith incident, when the Australia skipper had sought directions from the dressing room during the Bangalore Test in March. Ironically, Llong was the umpire on that occasion too, and had actually denied Smith the DRS. India skipper Virat Kohli had come down heavily on the Australian skipper, who actually admitted guilt with the now famous "brainfade" excuse. Herath denied cheating accusations. "I was enquiring from Llong as to whether a DRS was still available to us, and Dilruwan must have heard and turned back," he explained when asked why his partner changed his mind after having accepted the decision The Sri Lankan board issued a similar clarification later in the evening. "Contrary to the assumptions made, there was no message from the dressing room involved in the requested review," it said, adding: "Having mistakenly assumed that SL were out of reviews, Perera had turned to leave the field when he heard Rangana Herath inquire from the on-field umpire Nigel Llong if Sri Lanka have any reviews left, to which Mr Llong answered in the affirmative."

Bhuvi: I didn't see it
Bhuvneswar Kumar, who addressed the media conference after the day's play, felt it was best left to the officials. "I actually didn't see what was happening as we were busy celebrating," he added. With the DRS being allowed and no admonishing by the match referee, the incident may well be an overreaction, a common enough phenomenon in this age of close digital scrutiny and an hyperactive social media.

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