U19 Cricket World Cup: England win despite Hamza Shaikh's controversial 'field-defending' dismissal | Cricket news

Hamza Shaikh gave up for 'obstruction on the pitch' in the 17th over after England's U19 Cricket World Cup win over Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom; England exited the Super Six competition despite the win; Watch the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket

14:01 UK Saturday 3 February 2024

England ended their Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign with an emphatic 146-run victory over Zimbabwe, despite the controversial dismissal of Hamza Shaikh, who was issued for “defending the field”.

The incident occurred in the 17th match of the Super Six in Potchefstroom when Shaikh blocked a delivery from Ryan Simbi and the ball stopped after hitting his leg.

The right-hander then picked up the ball and threw it back to wicketkeeper Ryan Kamwembo as he approached from behind the stumps, prompting Zimbabwe to appeal on the grounds that Shaikh had done so without seeking permission from the team to field.

Cricket rule 37.4 states: “Either the batsman is out, defending on the field, if at any time when the ball is in play and without the consent of the fielder, he uses his bat or any part of his person to return. the ball to any player in the field.”

The two on-field umpires consulted each other and sent the appeal for review, with the third umpire signaling that Shaikh was out (for a one-off nine deliveries) after seeing the tape, leaving England 78-3 after he lost the toss and was out. made to bat first.

England made 237-7 from their 50 overs, Charlie Allison making a crucial 76 to go with opener Theo Wylie's 61 and valuable lower-order runs from Haydon Mustard (41).

Tazeem Chaudry Ali (7-29) then tore through the Zimbabwe batting order, with the leg-spinner taking all the last seven wickets as they were bowled out for 91.

Despite winning on aggregate, England exited the competition at the Super Six stage, finishing fourth in Group 2 and outside the two semi-final spots claimed by Australia and South Africa.

Shaikh's appeal is reminiscent of an almost identical incident that happened in the 2018 U-19 World Cup in a match between West Indies and South Africa, which caused a minor stir in the cricketing world.

A picture:
Hamza Shaikh leaves the field after being sent off for obstructing the field

On that occasion, South African opener Jiveshan Pillay was run out after picking up a ball that had stopped after reaching the pad and threw it back to wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart.

Stewart, who was also the West Indies captain, was quick to appeal and Pillay was out for 47 on the advice of the third umpire. However, South Africa won the match by 76 runs.

In total, eight players have been dismissed for on-field obstruction in the history of senior men's one-day international cricket, including current England Test captain Ben Stokes against Australia at Lord's in 2015.

While the decision to send Shaikh out was correct within the laws of cricket, whether it was in the spirit of the game for Zimbabwe to appeal will no doubt be debated.

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