ICC clarifies stand on Fawad’s dismissal

ICC clarifies stand on Fawad’s dismissal

Pakistan lost 3rd ODI against Australia which meant Australia completed the washout in 3 match series. But more than 3-0 score line, it’s something else which caught the attention of cricketing world and has triggered a fresh round of debates and discussions over one incidence in the match.

It was in 18th over of the Pakistan’s innings, when Xavier Doherty bowled to Fawad Alam and Fawad went for a pre meditated paddle sweep and before Fawad made any contact with the ball Steve Smith fielding in slip position moved across the keeper and took the catch at leg slip. On field umpires consulted the third umpire to give Fawad out.

Fawad was outrightly dejected with the decision. As per law 41.7, which governs movement of fielders, “Any significant movement by any fielder after the ball comes into play, and before the ball reaches the striker, is unfair. In the event of such unfair movement, either umpire shall call and signal dead ball.” Law 41.8 defines significant movement for close catchers as: “For close fielders anything other than minor adjustments to stance or position in relation to the striker is significant.” This caused huge uproar in cricketing circle since as per the law Smith’s movement was unfair.

But In a press release a day after the match, the ICC said, “Given the recent trend of fielders moving in anticipation after a batsman had moved to play a shot, the ICC consulted with the MCC and advised the umpires to use the following interpretation: ‘As long as the movement of a close catching fielder is in response to the striker’s actions (the shot he/she is about to play or shaping to play), then movement is permitted before the ball reaches the striker. On the day, if umpires believe any form of significant movement is unfair (in an attempt to deceive the batsman), and then the Law still applies.’ This interpretation was discussed during the Match Officials’ Workshop in Dubai in late September.”

It seems umpiresdiscussed the new guidelines and considering these guidelines only, gave Fawad out.

In my opinion, a rule has always to be in black and white format. Either it’s allowed or not, it should not be left to the judgment of umpires. We use technology in cricket to ensure umpires don’t give decisions based on judgments but based on clear-cut rules.

Another important factor to be considered is, when a batsman premeditates a shot the main consideration behind his premeditation is the field placements. If those field placements are changed within the time of bowl delivery, it robs off the level playing field from the batsmen. Why not leave it to the bowlers to outsmart batsmen’s premeditated short with his thinking as at the end of day its a contest between bat and ball.