India’s scintillating four-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday in a T20 World Cup Super 12 clash witnessed moments of controversy.
With 13 required off the last three balls, Kohli struck a six over deep mid-wicket off a waist-high full toss which was called a no-ball by the umpires, leaving Pakistan skipper Babar Azam confused. It was followed by a wide which extended the free-hit ball.
Matters flared up soon when Kohli was bowled off the free hit delivery, and he along with Dinesh Karthik, reeled in three byes as the ball trickled down towards the third man. The Pakistan team was then involved in a brief discussion with the umpires who eventually adjudged the runs in India’s favour.
According to the commentators were heard saying during the scene, Babar appeared to want the delivery to be referred to as a “dead ball” because it struck the stumps.
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) October 23, 2022
MCC laws state a ball is dead when it reaches the wicketkeeper’s hands or it’s a boundary
Although controversy erupted at the MCG, the MCC laws of cricket prove that the umpire’s decision was correct. Although the striker cannot be out-bowled for a free hit, the ball is still in play and all requirements under the Laws for Byes are met. As a result, the ball is not dead on hitting the stumps.
The MCC Laws of Cricket state that a ball can only be declared dead when “it is finally settled in the hands of the wicketkeeper or of the bowler”, or when “a boundary is scored.”
Law 20.1.1 also outlines several methods of declaring a ball dead, including circumstances in which the umpire has the final say. In situations like these when the ball hits the stumps, the umpire has the authority to declare a ball dead when “one or both bails fall from the striker’s wicket before the striker has had the opportunity of playing the ball.
With this win, India began their T20 World Cup 2022 campaign on a scintillating note. They will next play the Netherlands on Thursday, October 27.