In a strange series of events, U19 South African batsman Jiveshan Pillay was given out obstructing the field by the on-field umpires.
Facing West Indies pacer Jarion Hoyte, Pillay mistimed his cover drive and edged the ball back on to his pads. The ball started to dribble towards the stumps but stopped in its path before dislodging the wicket. The South Africa batsman then tapped the stationary ball with his bat, picked it up and threw it back to the West Indies wicketkeeper and captain Emmanuel Stewart. The West Indies skipper then talked to the two standing umpires before the call went upstairs. After a long wait, almost five minutes, the decision came as ‘OUT’ which raised plenty of eyebrows.
This triggered quite a few reactions on social media and especially on Twitter. Former Australian Womens skipper Lisa S Sthalekar was quick to show her response on the incident. “Can’t believe what I am seeing @ICC #U19WorldCup,” she tweeted. “WI appealed for handling the ball. The ball had stopped rolling & the player picked it up" she tweeted.
According to Law 37.4 (Returning the ball to a fielder), “Either batsman 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.” As per the new law, introduced last year, handling the ball rule applies before the striker has “finished playing the ball”.
According to this rule thus the on-field umpires were right in ruling him out.
Here is the video of the incident.