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  5. Why was Nasum's wide to Virat Kohli not called? Know change in MCC laws that may have helped batter in his ton

Why was Nasum's wide to Virat Kohli not called? Know change in MCC laws that may have helped batter in his ton

Virat Kohli made 103* off 97 balls as he helped India chase down Bangladesh's target of 257 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. India defeated Bangladesh by 7 wickets to stay unbeaten in the tournament.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: October 20, 2023 9:50 IST
Virat Kohli IND vs BAN
Image Source : TWITTER Virat Kohli's wide delivery.

It was quite an interesting race between Virat Kohli's 48th ODI ton and India's date with their fourth consecutive win in the World Cup 2023 encounter against Bangladesh. Rohit Sharma's India racked up their fourth win in a row as they outclassed the Bangla Tigers in a 257-run chase in Pune. The Men in Blue continue to remain unbeaten in the tournament and are placed second behind New Zealand, who have a better Net run rate.

In an encounter, which looked pretty much over when the Indian batters were on song at Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, the focus came on whether Kohli could get to his hundred or not. As confessed by KL Rahul, Kohli was confused but was helped by him by denying singles as there was hardly any breathing space between runs required for India's win and Kohli's hundred. However, what could have played party poppers on the occasion was Nasum Ahmed's down-the-leg side delivery that was not called wide.

What happened? Why was it not called wide?

India required 2 runs to win and Kohli needed 3 to complete his century when left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed came to bowl the 42nd over of the chase. He bowled a leg-side wide as the ball went past Kohli's back. But what came as a surprise for many was that umpire Richard Kettleborough didn't call it a wide, which could have reduced Kohli's chances of a ton. 

It seems that the call was based on MCC's changes to a law concerning a wide ball. As per the old rule on the wide delivery, clause 2.1.1 of MCC states, "If the bowler bowls a ball, not being a No ball, the umpire shall adjudge it a Wide if, according to the definition in 22.1.2, the ball passes wide of where the striker is standing and which also would have passed wide of the striker standing in a normal guard position".

However, there was a change made to the laws that came into effect last year from October 1 onwards. In a March 2022 statement, MCC claimed that "In the modern game, batters are, more than ever, moving laterally around the crease before the ball is bowled. It was felt unfair that a delivery might be called ‘Wide’ if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride."

It then made a notable change to the law and stated, "Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so that a Wide will apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run-up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position."

After looking at the footage from Nasum's delivery to Kohli, the batter's legs were outside the leg side as Nasum came to bowl. He then shuffled a bit on the offside when the ball went past him. If the ball would have hit Kohli's pads if he remained in his original position, not calling the wide cannot be termed wrong as per these laws. 

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