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West Indies throw spirit of cricket out with controversial SA wicket at ICC U-19 World Cup

Jiveshan Pillay of South Africa U-19 team was given out for picking the ball with his hands even after it was in a stationary position during the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup match against the West Indies on Wednesday

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2018 18:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup,ICC U-19 World Cup,West Indies U-19 cricket team
Jiveshan Pillay of South Africa U-19 cricket team walks back to the pavilion after being given out via obstructing the field law during the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup match against the West Indies on Wednesday.(Getty Images)

West Indies U-19 cricket team find itself mired in a fair play controversy once again. In the 2016 edition of ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, they came under fire for ‘mankading’ a Zimbabwe batsman in a crucial game. And now, in the ongoing World Cup in New Zealand, they have sparked the spirit-of-cricket debate by claiming the wicket of South Africa U-19 opener Jiveshan Pillay for obstructing the field.

The incident happened during West Indies’ Group A encounter with South Africa in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday. South Africa were 77 for 2 in the 17th over of their innings when opener Pillay mistimed a stroke and the ball stopped just short of the off stump. (WI U-19 vs SA U-19 ICC World Cup match scorecard)

Pillay picked the ball up and handed it over to the West Indies captain and wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart. Stewart, however, started appealing for obstructing the field dismissal, which forced the on-field umpires to refer the decision to the third umpire.

The third umpire, after watching the footage closely, ruled the batsman out taking into account law 37.4, which deals with ‘returning the ball to a fielder’.

The law says, “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.”

West Indies were involved in a similar controversial dismissal in the 2016 U-19 World Cup when their bowler Keemo Paul mankaded Zimbabwe’s last wicket to clinch a must-win game. West Indies had gone on to win the tournament.

Though back then, the West Indies had found support from former fast bowler-turned-commentator Ian Bishop, this time he came down hard at the team.

“This is an unfortunate issue. The batsman isn’t trying to gain an advantage. He is not trying to be unfair. The umpires have done what they need to do. The ball has stopped. It’s not threatening the stumps. I don’t really necessarily feel as if that’s a good law. It could take a re-look,” Bishop was quoted as saying by

“The batsman is not trying to gain an unfair advantage. All he is trying to do is help out the fielding team. I would have to have a deeper look at myself if I was the fielding captain. Can I use some discretion here for the sake of the game and whatever the spirit of the game means? I wouldn’t have gone that way. He’s obviously a bright kid and he understands the letter of the law. On this occasion it’s slightly different for me compared to the last World Cup,” said Bishop, who was also commentating during the game.

Former South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher also slammed the West Indian players, terming their action disgusting, and that it was against the spirit of the game.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 11:45 IST