An incident involving Sri Lanka opener Danushka Gunathilaka, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard and on-field umpire Joe Wilson garnered all the attention in the first ODI at Antigua on Wednesday.
It all happened in the 22nd over of the match when Gunathilaka played a length ball from Pollard and dropped it right in front of his feet. The non-striker Pathum Nissanka came down running for a quick single but was sent back by his partner.
Gunathilaka, on the hand, while moving back in his crease, back-heeled the ball as his eyes were set on Nissanka all the while. The Windies skipper appealed to the umpires after failing to pick up the ball while going for a run-out. Umpire Wilson referred it to the third umpire with a soft signal of ‘out’, and the decision stayed even after having a look at several replays.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) March 11, 2021
The bizarre dismissal of Gunathilaka invited a social media outrage. While Harbhajan Singh, Tom Moody and Darren Sammy questioned the third umpire’s decision, former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has lauded it.
However, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has shared pictures of both Gunathilake and Pollard having a chat after the end of the match. And Gunathilake, while speaking to NewsWire, revealed that Pollard apologised after getting him out for obstructing the field.
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 10, 2021
“He apologised, he told me he didn’t see that properly at that time and only after he saw the video he realized I didn’t do anything,” Gunathilake told NewsWire.