World Cup 2015 Review March 29, 2015

The controversies of the World Cup - Mooney's catch, Rohit's no-ball

ESPNcricinfo looks at the controversies of the 2015 World Cup

An umpiring error left James Taylor stranded on 98 not out © AFP

The (un)dead ball
A confusing end to a confusing innings and, as in most passages of baffling cricket, one of the victims was a man who had played with assurance. James Taylor was two runs away from a maiden ODI century against Australia at the MCG - the second match of the World Cup - when he was adjudged leg-before by umpire Aleem Dar. The batsman reviewed, the decision was reversed, and that should have been that. Except England had attempted a run, and DRS rolled on to catch Glenn Maxwell running the last man James Anderson out, and the dismissal was upheld. The only problem - the run-out had taken place after the lbw appeal was upheld, meaning the ball was dead. The ICC conceded as much. "The Playing Control Team spoke to the England team management and acknowledges that the game ended incorrectly and that an error was made."

A jaunt gone wrong
You could excuse Al-Amin Hossain for wanting to explore Brisbane. It was his first time playing in Australia and he was part of a World Cup squad a year after his ODI debut. In his excitement though, he broke the team's 10 pm curfew and was written up by the ACSU (Anti-Corruption and Security Unit). It was only a misdemeanor, and there were no corruption charges, but Al-Amin was withdrawn from the squad and sent home. "We don't even know where he went," Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president said. "That's the biggest question. He is telling us different versions. It is not a very serious issue but still." Two days later, Pakistan's chief selector Moin Khan had to fly home to cooperate with a PCB investigation into why he had visited a Christchurch casino.

Sean Williams walked off the park while the umpires were still deliberating over John Mooney's catch near the boundary. © AFP

Shadows of doubt
It was the 47th over and Zimbabwe were chasing 332 against Ireland in Hobart. Sean Williams, on 96, cleared his front leg and clubbed one hoping to clear deep midwicket but John Mooney tracked it down perilously close to the rope. Cue the third umpire. And a slew of replays. Some hinted at contact between boot and boundary.Others didn't. Experts stressed it was just an illusion cast by Mooney's shadow. The TV official Joel Wilson was still musing but the next man was already taking guard. Brendan Taylor, who made a century in the match, said, "You generally take the fielder's opinion and you go with it." Which was what Williams did: after a near-flawless innings, he made the error of walking off the park while the umpires were still deliberating. Zimbabwe could have needed only 26 off 19, but it became 32 off 19 and their best hope had gone.

A slow bowler's swift suspension
Majid Haq, Scotland's most-capped player and leading wicket-taker, was benched against Sri Lanka after which, according to the BBC, he reportedly tweeted: "Always tougher when your in the minority!! #colour #race." The tweet was subsequently deleted. The team's statement said he had breached "an internal code of conduct" but did not elaborate on the specifics. It also said Haq would be sent back home and coach Grant Bradburn said that the decision to drop him was taken for cricketing reasons. Until then Haq's incredibly slow offspinners had brought him three wickets in four matches, an economy of 4.88 and a rather popular hashtag #things2dobetweenmajidreleasingballanditreachingbatsman.

High drama over height
In the glare of the World Cup quarter-finals - with a Bangladesh-India match that was not lacking in eyeballs - the umpires were left red-faced again. Rohit Sharma, who had been the spine of the innings until then and the source of the acceleration later on, lobbed a full toss to deep square leg in the 40th over and Bangladesh erupted. But the square leg umpire Aleem Dar immediately indicated the ball was the above waist and Ian Gould made the no-ball official. Except it wasn't one, and Bangladesh erupted again - this time in outrage. Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, wanted to lodge an appeal. ICC president Mustafa Kamal said: "There was no quality in the umpiring. It seemed as if they had gone into the match with something in mind." Kamal was given a soft rap by ICC chief executive David Richardson who said, "The no-ball decision was a 50-50 call. The spirit of the game dictates that the umpire's decision is final and must be respected."

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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