‘Obstructing the Field’ Controversy Hits Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand

If you were irked by last week’s controversial ‘obstructing the field’ Big Bash League dismissal, it might be best to stop reading.

Just days after Brisbane’s Alex Ross was given out in the rarest of fashions after deviating during a run-out attempt, the West Indies side at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup took things to a new level with a successful appeal against South African batsman Jiveshen Pillay.

Having mis-hit a drive, a watchful Pillay made sure the ball stayed away from his stumps and avoided playing-on.

But when he picked up the ball and tossed it to the wicketkeeper in what could only be viewed as a helpful gesture, the madness began.

West Indies captain and wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart appealed for the dismissal and, after a review, got his wish, robbing the South African opener (47) of his second consecutive half-century in the tournament.

South Africa coach Lawrence Mahatlane played a straight bat when asked about the controversy.

“Our take is very simple, we play to the laws of the game and it’s part of the laws so it’s happened and hopefully we’ll learn from it for a long time.” Mahatlane said after his side’s innings of 9-282.

The controversy has caused plenty of uproar on social media.

Former West Indies quick Ian Bishop said Pillay should not have been given out because the ball had already stopped before the he picked it up.

“This was is an unfortunate issue,” Bishop said while commentating on Fox Sports.

“The batsman isn’t trying to gain an advantage. He is not trying to being unfair.

“The umpires have done what they need to do. The ball has stopped. It’s not threatening the stumps. I don’t really necessarily feel as if that’s a good law. It could take a re-look.

“The batsman is not trying to gain an unfair advantage. All he is trying to do is help out the fielding team.”

It wasn’t the first time the West Indies have been involved in a controversial dismissal during an Under-19 World Cup, with paceman Keemo Paul effecting a mankad against Zimbabwe in 2016.

The Windies won the match by two runs thanks to the final-wicket mankad, and went on to win the tournament.