Saeed Ajmal has claimed that he has no clue why Sachin Tendulkar was not given out by the third umpire in the semifinal match of the 2011 World Cup against Pakistan. After the decision, given out on the field, was referred to the third umpire, DRS showed that the ball had been missing the stumps.
The second semi-final of the 2011 World Cup was played between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in Mohali on March 30. Under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, India won the toss and elected to bat first and lost Virender Sehwag’s wicket with just 48 runs on the scoreboard. Then Tendulkar, along with Gautam Gambhir, started building a much-needed partnership but with the score at 75/1, it appeared that Ajmal had claimed the all-important
In the 11th over of the innings, with Tendulkar playing at 23, Ajmal beat the batsman with a traditional off-cutter. The ball caught Tendulkar flat on the pads and on-field umpire Ian Gould raised the finger. As the Pakistani players started their celebration and Gambhir and Tendulkar had a little chat and decided to review the decision. Replays showed that even though the ball had hit Tendulkar in line, it would have gone on to miss leg stump and as such changed the decision.
Ajmal, who retired from competitive cricket on Thursday, admitted that he still failed to understand why the third umpire overturned the on-field umpire’s decision.
“I was totally convinced I had him in front of the stumps but how the umpires didn’t give him out
“I was 110% confident when the referral was made that the batsman was out.”
Tendulkar ended up winning the man of the match award for his 85-run knock which helped Team India post a par score of 260 runs which proved to be enough for Pakistan who, in reply, could only manage a score of 231. This win sent India to the final to face Sri Lanka where the hosts managed to lift the cup for the second time in their history.
40-year-old Ajmal played 35 Tests and 113 ODIs for Pakistan in which he claimed 178 and 184 wickets respectively. He also featured in 64 T20Is bagging 85 wickets. He had a controversial career as his bowling action was always on ICC's radar. After announcing his retirement from the game, Ajmal criticised the ICC for the way it handled the controversy surrounding his bowling action.
“I am retiring with a heavy heart because firstly I think the ICC’s protocol is too harsh and if all bowlers today playing international cricket are tested I am sure at least 90 percent will fail to clear this protocol,” Ajmal said.