Hemantha’s controversial fielding stirs debate
The ending of the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Asia Cup thriller which Sri Lanka won by 21 runs at the R.Premadasa International Stadium on Sunday ( 9) there was a controversial incident at 47th over which bowled by Maheesh Theekshana and strike batter was Nasum Ahmed.
Nasum hammered Theekshana’ s full delivery (third bowl of the 47th over) was hit to go over the ground but substitute fielder Dushan Hementha initially looked to have a brilliant piece of fielding.
However, after a long look at the replays, the TV umpire awarded six, much to the confusion of on-air commentators Sri Lankan Roshan Abeysinghe and England former paceman Dominic Cork.
The friendly debate at the commentary box “Why is it six?” asked Roshan Abeysinghe. “Just tell me, explain to me why it is six.”
“I can’t explain to you,” said Dominic Cork. “I don’t think that is six. He touches the boundary, but as he takes the catch, he’s not touching it. That’s a strange decision, because I thought that was pretty good fielding.
The infield umpires asked from third umpire to get a final decision and singled six for Nasum at this critical stage of the game .
However, after a long look at the replays, the TV umpire awarded six, much to the confusion of on-air commentators Roshan Abeysinghe and Dominic Cork.
Abeysinghe went on to describe it as “baffling”. “I don’t understand why this is a six unless we didn’t see something that the umpires saw. He’s up. I don’t think he’s touching the ropes at any time when he flicks the ball back.”
Cork went on to speculate that the moment could be “crucial”, but Sri Lanka wrapped up victory not long after. Still, as much as it is an odd situation, it is clear that the umpires made the right decision.
Law 19.5.2 reads: “A fielder who is not in contact with the ground is considered to be grounded beyond the boundary if his/her final contact with the ground, before his/her first contact with the ball after it has been delivered by the bowler, was not entirely within the boundary.” Since Hemantha flicked the boundary rope with his boot as he jumped, his final contact with the ground before his first contact with the ball was not entirely within the boundary, and therefore ‘six’ was the right decision said very senior umpire of Sri Lanka who is presently work as match referee.
It is important to note that the first contact with the ball is the most crucial one. For any subsequent touches, it would have been sufficient for Hemantha to have been not in contact with the ball and the ground simultaneously.