England have been dropped into a fresh debate around the ‘spirit of cricket’ after a young batter got himself dismissed at the U19 World Cup.
Hamza Shaikh was in the early stages of his innings when the 17-year-old attempted to help his Zimbabwean opponents by picking up a ball that had been trapped by his foot and stopped on the crease.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: England batter gets himself dismissed at U19 Cricket World Cup.
Watch, Stream & Catch Up with Australia’s Home of Cricket on 7plus >>
Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Ryan Kamwemba had already walked around the stumps by the time Shaikh decided to touch the ball — a move that left the batter open to being dismissed for obstructing the field.
And so it was after Kamwemba began to appeal for Shaikh’s wicket before the ball had even made it into his hand.
Law 37.4 states a batter can be out if he touches the ball without the consent of a fielder.
Shaikh warned Kamwemba that he was about to pick up the ball. Credit: ICC
But where the behaviour of individual cricketers hits the spotlight in the senior game — as England and Australia learned when Jonny Bairstow was out stumped by Alex Carey in the Ashes last year — all the focus here was on the umpires.
“Oh get a grip. He’s passing a stationary ball to the fielder? Doing him a favour! Can’t give that out,” Stuart Broad wrote.
Australia make shock call on World Cup hero after torrid patch
Aussie cricket great rages as West Indies make mockery of rule
Broad was not the only England star shocked by the dismissal.
“Some of the worst officiating I think I’ve ever seen. Embarrassing decision. Typical example of those who know the rules but don’t know the game,” Tim Bresnan said.
Sam Billings simply said ‘wow’ while Steve Harmison offered an interesting perspective.
“We have a way of kicking ourselves between the legs in this great game we love,” he said.
Harmison called it “a shocker” and said umpires must be allowed to have more power to rule on common sense.
“If you’re getting given out for that then the game’s gone, it really has. How can an umpire give that out?” he added.
England went on to win the dead-rubber group match by 146 runs.
The tournament continues this week when India face hosts South Africa for a spot in the final against Australia or Pakistan.
The Aussies are unbeaten through six completed matches at the tournament.
Sam Konstas, an 18-year-old who has already made his Sheffield Shield debut for NSW, starred in their most recent match.
He came in at No.3 and witnessed a collapse to 5-87 but produced a masterclass amid the chaos to score a century.
“Sam batted unbelievably well,” said captain Hugh Weibgen, who himself scored a century in the previous match.