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Cricket officially gone bonkers: Vaughan reacts to bizarre dismissal in West Indies vs Sri Lanka ODI

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Shai Hope hit a handsome hundred as West Indies defeated Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in the first ODI in Antigua on Wednesday but that’s not the major talking point after the match. An incident involving Sri Lanka opener Danushka Gunathilaka, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard and on-field umpire Joe Wilson has garnered all the attention.

It all happened in the 22nd over of the match when Gunathilaka played a length ball from Pollard and dropped it right in front of his feet. His batting partner Pathum Nissanka came down running for a single but only to be sent back by Danushka. Gunathilaka, on the hand, tried to make his way back in the crease and in the process back-heeled the ball as he had his eyes set on Pathum all the while. Kieron Pollard appealed to the umpire after failing to grab the ball while attempting a run-out. The on-field umpire referred it to the third-umpire, who found Gunathilaka ‘obstructing the field’ and declared him out.

Cricket fraternity has reacted to the dismissal and passed their own set of judgments. While, Michael Vaughan, Tom Moody and Daren Sammy have questioned the third-umpire’s decision, former Australia chinaman bowler Brad Hogg has lauded it.

“Don’t think that was willful at all. I wouldn’t appeal but hey” wrote Michael Vaughan.

“Wilful obstruction” no way was that wilful” wrote Tom Moody.

“Gunathilaka definitely out obstructing the fielder, he had showed no urgency getting back in his crease as 2 fielders converge on the ball, run out opportunity at the other end. Pollard full rights to appeal & umpires have made a good decision. Game Awareness” wrote Brad Hogg.

What does the law say?

Law 37. 1 states: “Either batsman is out obstructing the field if he willfully obstructs or distracts the fielding side by word or action. In particular, but not solely, it shall be regarded as obstruction and either batsman will be out obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball, he wilfully strikes the ball with: (i) a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury. (ii) Any other part of his person or with his bat.”

About the author

Vishwas Gupta