It’s not been even a while since the implementation of new cricket rules and yet a cricketer has found himself on the wrong end and his side is penalized. The new rules came into force on September 28. However, it is was proposed that they will be applicable for JLT Cup (Australia’s One-day Domestic tournament) even though the tournament started a day before implementation (September 27).
It was the third match of JLT Cup between Queensland and Cricket Australia XI at Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Winning the toss, Queensland opted to bowl. Mitchell Swepson was bowling 27th over of Cricket Australia XI innings when this incident took place. Batsman Param Uppal was on strike. Swepson bowled the first ball of 27th over.
Uppal came down the pitch and pushed the ball towards extra cover. Labuschange was the fielder and he couldn’t cut the ball off as he dived. While he was getting up, he had a shy at the stumps when the ball had already gone past him. It was deemed by the umpires that the fielder (Labuschange) was trying to distract the batsman by having a go at the stumps when he did not have the ball in his hand.
Queensland was penalized and the opposition team was rewarded 5 penalty runs for this act. As per the new rules, a fielder or his side will be penalized for distracting a batsman either verbally or through actions in a bid to divert his attention.
This, however, didn’t prevent Queensland from getting over the line as they chased down Cricket Australia XI’s 279. Labuschange put this behind him and scored 61 of 62 in the run chase. Matt Renshaw top scored with 67 and Burns (49) and Cutting (39*) played useful hands. They won by 4 wickets with 9 balls to spare and open their account in the first match of their JLT Cup campaign.
All in all the penalty of 5 runs looked harsh as it is a spontaneous reaction of any fielder to have a shy at the stumps. It is still early days and players are bound to take time to get used to the new rules.