ICC U19 World Cup 2024: England's Hamza Shaikh given out obstructing the field against Zimbabwe U19
England’s Hamza Shaikh was given out obstructing the field in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024.
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2024 witnessed a moment of controversy as England’s Hamza Shaikh was given out obstructing the field in a Super Six clash against Zimbabwe. This rare dismissal took place in the 17th over when Shaikh attempted to return the ball to the wicket-keeper and found himself at the center of a contentious appeal by Zimbabwean team.
The incident occurred in Potchefstroom, during the Super Six stage. Both England and Zimbabwe already had been eliminated from the semi-finals race before start of the match.
Hamza Shaikh given out while obstructing the field
In the 17th over, as Ryan Simbi delivered a ball, Shaikh unintentionally blocked it with his foot. The ball came to a halt, prompting Shaikh to pick it up and throw it back to the wicket-keeper. However, Zimbabwe swiftly appealed, contending that Shaikh had failed to seek permission before making the throw.
The on-field umpires deliberated and referred the appeal to the third umpire, who, upon reviewing the footage, declared Shaikh out. This unexpected decision left England at 78-3, intensifying the pressure on the team after losing the toss and asked to bat.
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Hamza Shaikh was visibly perplexed with the decision after having an explanation from the umpires. He left the field in disbelief, having contributed only one run to the innings. This dismissal drew parallels with a similar incident in the 2018 U19 World Cup involving South Africa’s Jiveshan Pillay, reigniting discussions about obstructing the field rulings in cricket.
While Law 37.4 of cricket clearly states that, “Either batter 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.” Shaikh’s dismissal raises questions about the spirit of the game. The decision, though correct within the laws, sparks debate on whether Zimbabwe’s appeal aligns with the fair play ethics.
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