cricket / short form

Two sides to Obstructing the Field


Option 1) In the 4th ODI between Pakistan and South Africa a blatant act of cheating occured. Hafeez was given out obstructing the field. He was taking a second run, and there was no doubt he was about to be run out due to a mixup. Hafeez turned to look at the keeper, and saw the ball about to be thrown. He deliberately swerved into the path of the throw, knowing full well the ball would hit him. The change of angle that he was running on was clear, as he started off the pitch and finished on it. To award South Africa the wicket due to obstruction was the correct and logical outcome under Law 37, Hafeez “willfully obstructed the fielders in action.” There was no reason for Hafeez to be on the pitch.

Option 2) When the mix up occured, and Hafeez decided he had to race as fast as he could, he ran for his life. While running he turned his head in the direction of the keeper to see how much time he had, and as a result his running trajectory changed, in the manner of a driver drifting to one side of the road if they are staring at something on said side. He did this without slowing down, implying he has poor running technique as he should have stayed in a straight line, but was still running as fast as possible to the other end rather than trying to position himself in the way of the throw. He was hit on the back of the thigh in full stride, and it would have been impossible for him to have planned for the ball to hit him in such a manner. Finally, a batsmen deserves the benefit of the doubt, particularly with such a strange decision, as well as being one which requires willful action. It is impossible to say whether he deliberately ran into the path of the ball or tried to obstruct, as such Hafeez should have been declared not out.

Pick your favourite.


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