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Under 19 World Cup: Controversial obstructing the field dismissal sparks ‘spirit of cricket’ debate

Watch as South Africa’s Jiveshan Pillay is controversially given out obstructing the field after he picked up the ball to return it to West Indies fielders during the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand – sparking a fresh debate over the “spirit of cricket” across social media.

South Africa Test captain Faf du Plessis called it “an absolute joke… I have done this almost a 100 times”, but ex-Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson hit back: “Maybe you should stop doing it. Whether we like or not, it’s law in the game.” Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan wrote: “The politically correct crew will say Rules are Rules… But let’s be honest this is a disgraceful way to claim a wicket.”

But BBC Test Match Special commentator Simon Mann tweeted: “Your wicket is precious, don’t jeopardise it unnecessarily and know the laws. Then you won’t give the opposition a chance to do something you fundamentally disagree with.” Fellow TMS commentator Neil Manthorp concurred, adding: “It was bizarre but batsmen should know the laws. Let the fielders do the fielding.”

Under 19 World Cup: Controversial obstructing the field dismissal sparks ‘spirit of cricket’ debate
Under 19 World Cup: Controversial obstructing the field dismissal sparks ‘spirit of cricket’ debate

And former England limited-overs batsman Joe Denly recalled an incident at the 2016 Under-19 World Cup which also involved West Indies, when a Windies bowler enacted a “mankad” run-out – removing the bails with the non-striker backing up – to win a crucial match against Zimbabwe.

Law 37.4 states that “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”.

Match scorecard

WATCH MORE: England U19s get off to winning startvailable to UK users only.

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