Obstructing the Field and a Few Famous Incidents


Modified Apr 3, 2021 10:44 AM IST

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Recently Sri Lankan opener Danushka Gunathilaka was dismissed, obstructing the field after getting Sri Lanka into a good position in the first ODI against West Indies.

The dismissal reminded Cricket fans of one of the rare modes of releases, Obstructing the field.

Till now, there have been only eight incidents of obstructing the field in International Cricket.

 There have also been six recent incidents in domestic Cricket and one such incident in women’s Cricket.

Let us now look at some of the memorable incidents where a batsman was given out obstructing the field.

Rameez Raja

The first incident of a batsman being given out in the highlighted manner in ODI Cricket was back in 1987.

Pakistan was playing England at Karachi, and Rameez Raja was on 98 as the game was about to end.

The match was shortened due to rain, and by the time the final ball was bowled, the game was out of Pakistan’s hands.

Taking a second run for a century, Rameez Raja used his bat to block the ball from hitting the stumps.

After an appeal from England, Rameez Raja became the first batsman in ODI Cricket to be dismissed, obstructing the field.

Inzamam Ul Haq

I am not able to comprehend this law'

Chasing 329 against India in a rain-shortened game, Inzamam-Ul-Haq was involved in one of the more memorable instances of obstructing the field.

The incident occurred in the 44th over, when the game was in Pakistan’s grasp.

Batting on 16, Ul-Haq tapped the ball to Suresh Raina at mid-on.

After tapping the ball, Inzamam-Ul-Haq was making his way back to the crease slowly when Suresh Raina threw the ball towards the stumps.

With the ball coming straight at him, Inzamam-Ul-Haq played a defensive stroke outside his crease.

The Indians appealed, and the captain was given out.

Following the incident, Inzamam-Ul-Haq had a conversation with the umpires and later stated that he wasn’t clear about the exact rule behind obstructing the field.

Ben Stokes

England's Ben Stokes responds as "obstructing the field" dismissal  controversy continues - Mirror Online

Ben Stokes’s dismissal for obstructing the field leads to a lot of division in opinions, and the decision to give him out is still debatable.

In the second ODI against Australia, after the Ashes, Ben Stokes was batting on ten with his side facing a chase of 310.

Facing Mitchell Starc, Ben Stokes tapped the ball back to the bowler, who noticed Stokes out of his crease and furiously threw it back.

With the ball coming at an incredible pace, Ben Stokes used his hand to stop the ball in an action that could also be considered protection.

Following the use of his hand, Ben Stokes was given out obstructing the field.

The decision led to divided opinions as some felt Ben Stokes was protecting himself from an incoming fast throw.

Others argued by stating that the ball was going away from Ben Stokes and he didn’t need to use his hand.

Overall, the shock and surprise expression when the ball is thrown at Stokes may give the perfect picture of his intention.

Yusuf Pathan

5 controversial dismissals in IPL history

The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League witnessed the first occasion of a batsman getting dismissed for obstructing the field.

The man dismissed was Yusuf Pathan,

Yusuf Pathan was batting on 72 when he dug out a yorker from Wayne Parnell.

The ball didn’t go too far off the pitch, but Pathan set off for a single and kicked the ball as Wayne Parnell came towards it.

Following the kick, there was an appeal from Wayne Parnell, and Yusuf Pathan was dismissed for obstructing the field.

Danushka Gunathilaka

The latest incident and a batsman being dismissed obstructing the field occurred during an ODI between West Indies and Sri Lanka.

During the 22nd over the first ODI, Gunathilaka tapped the ball and took a couple of steps forward.

The ball was behind him, and as he walked back, he pushed the ball with the bottom of his foot.

Kieron Pollard appealed, and the batsman was later given out, obstructing the field.

However, after replays were shown, the incident came to light and looked unintentional as Gunathilaka did not look or know where the ball was after his shot.

The kick was unintentional, and it was an unfortunate dismissal.

Following the game, Kieron Pollard met Gunathilaka and spoke about the dismissal, and apologized.