More than a month after wrongly adjudging Sachin Tendulkar out caught behind in the final one-day international against England at Lord's, umpire Aleem Dar has apologised, saying that it occurred due to a sudden lapse in concentration.
Tendulkar, batting on 30, was beaten while trying to drive a full-length delivery from Andrew Flintoff outside the off stump. However, replays showed that the bat had clipped the pad instead and Tendulkar stood long enough to register his bewilderment before slowly heading off. His wicket was a big blow for India as they were bowled out for a modest 188, losing by seven wickets and the series 4-3.
"Immediately after I gave Tendulkar caught by wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Andrew Flintoff I realised from his reaction that I had given a wrong decision," Dar told IANS. "On that ball, Flintoff was very close to bowling a no-ball and as I was looking at his foot, my concentration was disturbed."
Though he regretted the decision, Dar said he didn't consider recalling Tendulkar as it was something he had never done before in his international career.
"Since I had never called any batsman after giving a decision I did not call him back," he said. "So, if I were to call Tendulkar I would also call the last man if given wrongly out. I knew that match was the decider. And I was upset after giving that decision. It was a tough match."
Dar said he had apologised to Tendulkar after the match. "After the game when players shake hands with the umpires, Tendulkar also shook my hands on the field. As he did that I said to him 'hard luck'."