On January 17’2018 Under-19 West Indies cricket team ignited a debate which is likely to go on for days if not weeks.
The incident took place in the 17th over of South African innings when West Indies and South Africa were playing their Group A fixture in Mount Maunganui.
During the over, appeal was made against South Africa opener Jiveshan Pillay who was called for obstructing the field when Pillay picked up the ball close to off stump.
Even though the ball was stationary after rolling off an inside edge, West Indies wicketkeeper and captain Emmanuel Stewart made the appeal and the third umpire Ranmore Martinesz was called in.
After repeated replays and a long wait, the decision went in West Indies’ favor and Pillay was given out.
One must note once the decision was referred to the TV umpire, it was going to be difficult for them not to give the batsman out unless Stewart and West Indies team withdrew the appeal.
You see under Law 37.4 – ‘returning the ball to a fielder’, states, that “either batsman is out for 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 body to return the ball to any fielder.”
The law though in place for years is not followed to the T so as to maintain the ‘spirit of the game.’
The controversial appeal soon led to a debate with many senior players also weighing in on the matter.
This is a absolute joke…not in the spirit of the game .I have done this almost a 100 times. https://t.co/nX0KUJ9PI4
— Faf Du Plessis (@faf1307) January 17, 2018
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
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) January 17, 2018
Too many Spirits in the game.. I guess the Windies knew the law of the game better than everyone else
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) January 17, 2018
If there’s an appeal umpires don’t have a choice though – check revised law 37.4
— Tim Cutler (@timcutler) January 17, 2018
Shocking decision and clearly not out! Fielders didn’t appeal and even if they did it’s still not out!! Poor umpiring at its very best!
— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) January 17, 2018
Batsman bat,bowlers bowl and please leave the ball to be picked up by the fielders….end of issue.
— Craig McMillan (@cmacca10) January 17, 2018
When I coach seven year-old children, they are taught not to handle the ball – ever. How can a player at that level pick up the ball? What could he have been thinking?
— Jamie Harrison (@JamieHarrison__) January 17, 2018
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) January 17, 2018
At the time of appeal, South Africa were 77 for 2 with Pillay playing at 47.
What are your thoughts on this wicket, was it a fair decision?