IPL 2018: Dead ball, wide or no ball? Deepak Chahar’s freak delivery sparks debate

Deepak Chahar bowled a delivery tailor-made for the top 10 strange deliveries in cricket compilations we see on Youtube during Chennai Super Kings’ qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2018 on Tuesday. Bowling the fifth over of the match, Chahar lost control of the ball and sent it flying over the batsman’s head. It took a bounce in front of wicketkeeper MS Dhoni before settling into his hands.

The ball was full and above the batsman’s waist. It also veering outside leg which meant that the delivery was a very good candidate for no-ball or wide. Instead, umpire Marais Erasmus declared it dead. There is precedence of freak deliveries like these being called dead balls. For example, Pakistan’s Mohammad Sami had lost control of two balls in similar fashion in an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2012 and the umpire had called dead ball both times.

But in this case, the commentators seem to be of the opinion that it should have been either a wide or a no ball and Chennai Super Kings got away with it. Simon Doull, himself a former Test bowler for New Zealand said, “I don’t think you can get away with that Sunny (Sunil Gavaskar), that’s no-ball.” Sunil Gavaskar, who was Doull’s co-commentator said that instances like this show that bowlers are lucky and can get away with deliveries like those. Shakib Al Hasan, who was the man with the bat, seemed to be equally miffed as to how that did not become an extra in his team’s favour.

Freak deliveries like these are gray areas and there have been instances when they were delcared dead but others when the batsman has run after a stray ball and hit it for four almost like a hockey stroke. Was this dead-ball or not? You choose.

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