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  5. What is obstructing the field in cricket? Why was Mushfiqur Rahim given out in an unusual way?

What is obstructing the field in cricket? Why was Mushfiqur Rahim given out in an unusual way?

Mushfiqur Rahim became the 11th batter to be given out handling the ball in international cricket and the first from Bangladesh. 'Handling the ball' mode of dismissal was integrated in 'obstructing the field' in 2017 and hence, Rahim has been given out in the latter way.

Aditya Kukalyekar Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: December 06, 2023 13:34 IST
Mushfiqur Rahim, BAN vs NZ
Image Source : GETTY Mushfiqur Rahim

Mushfiqur Rahim is hogging the headlines currenly for his unusual dismissal in the ongoing Test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand. He was given out ostructing the field during the second session on the opening day of the Test. The incident took place in the 41st over of the innings when Rahim tried to stop the ball with his hand and as expected, the Kiwi players appealed only to be given out by the umpires.

Interestingly, his dismissal mode has been mentioned as 'obstructing the field' and not 'handling the ball'. For the unversed, 'handling the ball' was one of the 11 mode of dismissals in cricket but in 2017, it was integrated in 'ostructing the field' mode of dismissal. Hence, Rahim has been adjudged out that way. But overall, there have been 11 players, including Rahim, to be out handling the ball in international cricket.

What is obstructing the field in cricket?

According to MCC laws of cricket, the batter will be adjudged out if he/she wilfully attempts in defence of his/her wicket. "The striker is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike. The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket," the law says.

Also, the bowler does not get the credit of this wicket according to the rules and hence, Mushfiqur Rahim's wicket hasn't been credited to Kyle Jamieson. 

List of players to be dismissed handling the ball:

Russell Endean, Andrew Hilditch, Mohsin Khan, Desmond Haynes, Mohinder Amarnath, Graham Gooch, Daryl Cullinan, Steve Waugh, Michael Vaughan, Chamu Chibhabha, Mushfiqur Rahim


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