Cricketers discuss spirit of game after WI dismiss SA batsman obstructing the field in U19 WC

West Indies U19 captain didn't withdraw his appeal and TV umpire gave the batsman out, as the law stated.

The obstructing the field law

The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ debate caught fire thanks to a bizarre incident in the ongoing ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand today. South African opener Jiveshan Pillay fell victim to ‘obstructing the field’ against West Indies in their Group A tie.

Pillay had mistimed a cover drive and the ball was edged onto his pads and rolled near the stumps. Pillay tapped the ball with his bat and then picked it up and threw it to the Windies keeper. West Indies captain and wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart appealed to the umpire and the matter was sent to the 3rd umpire.

TV umpire Ranmore Martinesz declared Pillay out after a number of replays. Unless the fielding captain withdraws the appeal, it was difficult for the TV umpire to give the batsman not out. The Law 37.4, which deals with 'returning the ball to a fielder', states: "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."

Watch the incident here

The incident has brought the spirit of the game into question as the Windies have earned a reputation of doing anything to win. In the 2016 World Cup, West Indies’ fast bowler Keemo Paul had ‘mankaded’ Zimbabwe’s last man Richard Ngarava in a must win situation. Here too, Windies were in must win situation, as they had lost their first match to New Zealand.

Cricketers took to Twitter to discuss and debate the obstructing the field law and also questioned the spirit of the game, after the action of the Windies captain Stewart. It also involved a animated exchange of tweets between South African captain Faf du Plessis and former Australia speedster Mitchell Johnson.

Check out the tweets here:

 


By Jatin Sharma - 17 Jan, 2018

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