A 'spirit of cricket' debate has once again kickstarted after the controversial run-out of Pakistan opening batsman Fakhar Zaman in the second ODI of the three-match series against South Africa.
Zaman's valiant 193-run knock was ended in the first ball of the final over in the game as a direct hit from Aiden Markram from long-off caught him short of his crease. There is a huge debate about the dismissal as wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock appeared to gesture that the throw from Markram might be going to the non-striker's end.
Looking at this gesture, Zaman slowed down as he thought the throw would not be coming at his end, but Markram took him by surprise.
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) then took to Twitter to explain the law, saying it is up to the umpire to decide whether the act of the fielder to distract the batter was willful or not.
"Law 41.5.1 states: "It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball," MCC tweeted.
In another tweet, it said: "The Law is clear, with the offence being an ATTEMPT to deceive, rather than the batsman actually being deceived. It's up to the umpires to decide if there was such an attempt. If so, then it's Not out, 5 Penalty runs + the 2 they ran, and batsmen choose who faces next ball."
South Africa white-ball captain Temba Bavuma had defended wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for his role in the controversial run-out.
"It was quite clever from Quinny. Maybe some people might criticise it for maybe not being in the spirit of the game. But it was an important wicket for us. Zaman was getting close to our target. Yeah, it was clever from Quinny," ESPNcricinfo quoted Bavuma as saying.
"You've always got to look for ways especially when things are not going your way, got to find ways to turn the momentum around. Quinny did that -- I don't think he broke the rules in any kind of way. It was a clever piece of cricket," he added.
Zaman had also said that Quinton de Kock did no mistake and it was only his fault that he was found short of the crease.
"The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris Rauf at the other end as I felt he'd started off a little late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble. The rest is up to the match referee, but I don't think it's Quinton's fault," ESPNcricinfo quoted Zaman as saying.
Chasing 342 in the second ODI, Pakistan needed 31 to win in the final over with two wickets in hand. After Zaman's run-out, Pakistan never had a chance and the visitors stumbled to a 17-run loss.
( With inputs from ANI )
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