Cricket tackling another controversy
Who says cricket is a non-contact sport? Not only can you be hit by a cricket ball, but it appears it is now okay to shoulder charge a batsman and then run them out.
It happened in another controversial cricket history moment involving England and New Zealand in their fourth one-day international at the Oval overnight.
With the game in the balance New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott defended a ball at his feet, set off for a quick run. He’d only gone a couple of steps before the booming figure of England’s Ryan Sidebottom collided with the tall Kiwi. Sidebottom’s Sideshow Bob hair went flying as well as legs, arms and then bails.
The decision by Paul Collingwood to run out Elliott was one thing, but England’s decision to maintain their appeal was another. According to law 42 (5) ‘it is unfair for any member of the fielding side, by word or action, wilfully to attempt to distract or to obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball.’ It goes on to say that neither batsman can be dismissed and the umpire should immediately call a dead ball.
If this fails, which it did the responsibility lies with the captains in making sure that play is conducted in the correct spirit. The England team should have immediately dropped their appeal.
If Grant Elliott had shoulder charged Sidebottom in attempting to pick up the ball he would be out for obstructing the field. Commonsense should indicate that Elliott was obstructed by the field and therefore not out.
In the end New Zealand won in a frantic last over, with England ironically missing an easy run-out chance on the last ball. Just imagine if New Zealand had lost? Kiwi commentator Ian Smith immediately compared the incident to the infamous Australia-New Zealand underarm match in 1981.
What do you think? Was England right or wrong to appeal? How much responsibility rests with the umpires?
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