On reflection, I thought our appeal wasn't in the spirit of the game: Emmanuel Stewart

On reflection, I thought our appeal wasn’t in the spirit of the game: Emmanuel Stewart

The match was marred by the controversial call for an obstructing the field dismissal.

Jiveshan Pillay
South African player Jiveshan Pillay was given out ‘obstructing the field’ at the U19 World Cup. (Photo Source: Twitter)

A bizarre dismissal was recorded in the match between the West Indies and South Africa in the Under-19 World Cup 2018. After winning the toss, the Windies Under-19 team put the Proteas team into bat first. The South African opener Jiveshan Pillay got off to a very good start. He scored 47 runs in 50 balls. However, Pillay was given out obstructing the field in the 51st delivery he faced.

Facing Windies quick Jarion Hoyte, Pillay mistimed an expansive cover drive and edged the ball into his pads. The ball dribbled towards the stumps but stopped before hitting the woodwork. Pillay then tapped the resting ball with his bat, picked it up and threw it to West Indies wicketkeeper.

Out ‘Obstructing the Field’

In a drastic turn around of events, the West Indies U19 captain, Emmanuel Stewart appealed for a dismissal. Stewart was then seen talking to the two standing umpires before Pillay was given out obstructing the field.

Speaking about this in the post-match presentation, “I asked the question and he was given out based on the laws and rules of the game. On reflection, I thought our appeal wasn’t in the spirit of the game. Moving forward, if I’m in such a situation, I’d withdraw the decision to go upstairs. My teammates share the same sentiments,” he said.

South Africa’s U19 captain, Raynard van Tonder said it was within the rules of the game. He mentioned that he could have done the same if he was in that situation and added that the team wasn’t happy with the decision. Tonder also said that it is not the way they play back at home. South Africa’s coach Lawrence Mahatlane took a stance that the players will learn from their mistakes.

After the match, Steward also said: “I appealed, not with the intention of going upstairs. There were a couple of appeals on the field and the umpires heard it, so they decided to have a look at it.”

Although not in the spirit of the game, the West Indian players defended their decision. They felt that the batsman was dismissed according to the rules of the game. Earlier, a similar incident took place in a BBL match.

However, South Africa under-19 won the match by 76 runs. In the last under-19 World Cup, the Windies were heavily criticised for affecting a ‘Mankad’ in a crucial encounter. This is the second time they are involved in an unfair dismissal at the U19 World Cup.

What does the rule say?

According to Law 37.4 (Returning the ball to a fielder) “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.”