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KNOW YOUR LAWS: Cricket world in a spin after 'obstructing the field' dismissal

Roar Guru
17th January, 2018
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Jiveshen Pillay picks up the ball in the Under 19s World Cup (U19s Cricket WC screenshot)
Roar Guru
17th January, 2018
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2308 Reads

The Under 19s Cricket World Cup is in the spotlight after a rare dismissal sent the internet into meltdown and opened up a discussion about the spirit of cricket.

South African opening batsman Jiveshan Pillay made it to 47 off just 51 balls but his decision to pick up the ball and throw it back to West Indian captain and keeper Emmanuel Stewart proved to be his downfall.

Steward appealed for the wicket and the umpires sent it upstairs.

Under changes to the laws of cricket, the third umpire used Law 37 to determine that Pillay was out.

Out Obstructing the field

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.

It could certainly be argued that the ball had stopped and therefore wasn’t in play but that is up to the umpire’s discretion.

Most cricketers are taught not to pick up the ball but when it does happen there’s usually a commonsense approach from teams that they won’t appeal unless the ball has a chance of hitting the stumps.

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Stewart’s decision to appeal and failure to withdraw the appeal had twitter fired up.



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