The inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) kicked off on Saturday (4 March) with a match between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians. Harmanpreet Kaur-led MI convincingly beat Beth Mooney’s Gujarat Giants, by 143 runs. The MI captain stole the show with her blistering knock of 65 (30). Kaur was also spot on with her captaincy as she made the perfect decisions in the middle. 

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The Mumbai Indians captain also used the rule tweak in the WPL when she demanded a Decision Review System in the 13th over of GG innings. As left-arm orthodox Saika Ishaque bowled down the leg side ball to Monical Patel, the batter tried to play a pull shot but missed it. The on-field umpire then signalled for a wide delivery. 

However, the MI captain was not convinced by the decision and signalled for a DRS. It was baffling for the viewers to see the captain asking for a referral without any appeal for a dismissal. Adding to the surprise was the umpire accepting it and seeking the TV umpire’s help. It started to get mind-boggling for the fans as the on-field umpire reversed her decision and termed the delivery legal when the replays showed that the ball had hit the batter’s gloves. 

Everyone had only one question and it was ‘is it allowed?’ Well, although there is no such provision at the international level, as per the Playing Conditions for the WPL, a player may be allowed to review any decision taken by on-field umpires concerning wide or no ball. 

Clause 3.1.1 states that “A player may request a review of any decision taken by the on-field umpires concerning whether or not a batter is dismissed, with the exception of 'Timed Out' (Player Review). A player may also be allowed to review any decision taken by on-field umpires concerning wide or no ball.”

Clause 3.1.2 then states that “No other decisions made by the umpires are eligible for a Player Review”.

So, what Harmanpreet Kaur did was very much within the rules and more such instances will be seen going forward into the tournament.