Ben Stokes rekindles debate by suggesting abolition of Umpire’s Call

Ben Stokes has suggested to scrap umpire’s call from the Decision Review System (DRS) after England were left scratching their heads by Zak Crawley’s second-innings dismissal in their defeat in the third Test against India in Rajkot.

Crawley sent upstairs Kumar Dharamasena’s decision to give him out lbw to Jasprit Bumrah in the ninth over before he left the field in fury, believing the predicted path showed the ball would be missing the leg stump bail. It was the second time in the ongoing series the opener found himself at the receiving end of an eerily tight DRS call, after being adjudged leg before against Kuldeep Yadav in Visakhapatnam following a review from Rohit Sharma.

The England captain was seen alongside head coach Brendon McCullum seeking clarification from match referee Jeff Crowe after England’s 434-run loss. Speaking to journalist Cameron Ponsonby, Stokes said “You just want a level playing field. The umpires have an incredibly hard job as it is, especially in India when the ball is spinning. My personal opinion is if the ball is hitting the stumps, it is hitting the stumps. They should take away ‘umpire’s call’ if I’m being perfectly honest. I don’t want to get too much into it because it sounds like we are moaning and saying that is why we lost the Test match.”

England were also bemused by Ollie Pope’s dismissal in the first essay. Originally given “not out” against Mohammed Siraj, the decision was overturned because the impact on leg stump was deemed conclusive. Watching live, the tourists thought the on-field verdict would be upheld.