Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomenewsControversy Erupts With Obstructing The Field Dismissal In England Vs Zimbabwe Clash...

Controversy Erupts With Obstructing The Field Dismissal In England Vs Zimbabwe Clash WATCH

In the 38th match of the Super Six, Group 2 of the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 in Potchefstroom on February 3 (Saturday), England faced Zimbabwe in a game marked by a controversial ‘obstructing the field’ decision. England, batting first, posted a total of 237/7 in their allotted 50 overs and went on to secure a dominant 146-run victory by dismissing Zimbabwe for 91. However, the match was marred by a controversial incident that raised questions about the concept of ‘sportsmanship’ in cricket.

The controversial moment occurred in the 17th over of England’s innings when No.4 batter Hamza Shaikh faced Zimbabwe’s left-arm spinner Ryan Simbi. After an unsuccessful stroke, the ball landed near Hamza’s feet, prompting Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Ryan Kamwemba to move towards the stationary ball. Hamza gestured with his right hand, indicating that he would pick the ball. He then picked up the ball and flicked it to Kamwemba, who was positioned next to him.

Here’s A Clip Of The Controversial Incident:

Although this action is not uncommon in the game, traditionalists often disapprove, suggesting that as a batter, one should leave the fielders to collect the ball, regardless of its location. Kamwemba appealed, leading the umpires to convene and refer the decision to the third umpire, who deemed it out under the ‘obstructing the field’ rule (Rule 37.4), stating that a batter is out if they use the bat or any part of their person to return the ball to a fielder without the fielder’s consent.

Here’s What Rule 37.4 (Returning the ball to a fielder) Of The Laws of Cricket (MCC) Says: 

“Either batter is out Obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.”

The dismissal, perceived by many as against the ‘spirit’ of the game, sparked widespread criticism on social media. Former England cricketer Stuart Broad expressed his disagreement, stating that passing a stationary ball back to the fielder should not result in an obstructing the field dismissal. Notably, before 2017, this type of wicket would have been categorised under the ‘handled the ball’ mode of dismissal, but a change in the laws merged the two together.

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