South African batsman Jiveshan Pillay found himself on the receiving end of a controversial umpire decision in the U19 World Cup in Mount Mauganui on Wednesday.
Pillay had returned the ball to a fielder in the match against the West Indies, after the South African had inside edged the delivery into his pads and just as the ball had stopped rolling dangerously close to his stumps.
This is where it gets controversial.
As you can see in the video below, Pillay picked the ball up after it had stopped near his stumps and passed it to Emmanuel Stewart, the wicketkeeper and West Indies captain.
Sporting you might think, nevertheless, what happened next was anything but – Stewart appealed to the umpire and following a review Pillay found himself back in the pavilion.
The incident will surely spark another debate about cricket’s obstructing the field laws specifically law 37.4 which reads;
"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 uses the bat or any part of his person to return the ball to any fielder."
There is an argument to be made, though, that once the ball has stopped moving it is no longer in play.
See it for yourself. It's not exactly playing within the spirit of the game!
The controversial dismissal has already got plenty of professionals, from the past and present, to voice their opinion.
South African star Faf du Plessis tweeted: "This is a absolute joke...not in the spirit of the game .I have done this almost a 100 times."
But ex-Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson replied: "Maybe you should stop doing it. Whether we like or not, it’s law in the game. As for spirit of the game, the players didn’t do anything wrong right? #healthydebate"
Meanwhile, former England captain, Michael Vaughan, posted: "The politically correct crew will say Rules are Rules ... Buts let be honest this is a disgraceful way to claim a wicket ..."
The incident comes a week after Brisbane Heat batsman Alex Ross was also controversially called out in the Heat's Big Bash match against Hobart.
Ross was hit by a return throw as he made his second run. The ball deflected off his body and into his stumps.
Whilst the rules state that a player can be given out if he deliberately obstructs the ball, the batsman is not out it the obstruction was accidental or an attempt to avoid injury.
Controversial to say the least.
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