It’s a rarity for an umpire to reverse his own decision without even referring it upstairs. However, this rare event occurred during Tuesday’s Marsh Cup game between Western Australia and South Australia when umpire Donovan Koch reversed his own decision without opting for the Decision Review System (DRS).
It all happened when leg-spinner Peter Hatzoglou, in the process of picking his first List A wicket, went up with a strong appeal for a caught behind off Western Australian batsman Sam Whiteman. Initially, Koch raised his finger, but as soon as the fielding team started celebrating on field and before the batsman started walking out. The umpire changed his mind and reversed his decision.
Replays would show that the batsman had indeed missed the ball by a fair distance and topping it all former Australian cricketers Brett Lee and Stuart Clarke witnessed it live for the first time. They were on a commentary assignment during Australia’s domestic One-Day Cup fixtures.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an umpire change his decision,” Clark said while Lee said that he “couldn’t believe it”.
Clark then went to laud the umpire for correcting his mistake and said, “I give him complete respect for that because usually you just give them out and panic about it.”
The incident also prompted sports reporter Jordan McArdle to tweet about the same. In his tweet, McArdle wrote that it was the right decision and he’s not sure if he has seen that before.
Peter Hatzoglou had his first List-A wicket for South Australia for about 10 seconds before the umpire reversed his decision. Sam Whiteman missed that by a fair way. Correct decision in the end, but can't say I've seen that before. #MarshCup— Jordan McArdle (@jordan_mc12) March 2, 2021
Coming back to the ongoing Western Australia vs South Australia Marsh Cup match that is being played at the WACA Stadium in Perth, Western Australia posted a huge total of 369 for five in their allotted 50 overs. South Australia need 282 runs to win from 31 overs.