obstructing the field

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Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim became the first player of his side to get dismissed obstructing the field in the ongoing Test against New Zealand. The incident took place during day one of the second Bangladesh versus New Zealand Test in Dhaka on December 6. It happened when Rahim tried to stop the ball with his hand in the 41st over of the innings, following which the Kiwi players appealed only to be given out by the umpires. 

The dismissal is known as obstructing the ball and is one of the 11 modes of dismissals in cricket. Earlier, handling the ball was one of the dismissal modes but in 2017, it was integrated into the ‘obstructing the field’ modes. As per the MCC laws of cricket, a batter is adjudged out if he or she willfully tries to defend the wicket. The law states, "The striker is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat."  

This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike.   It adds, “The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket.” As per the law, the bowler doesn’t get credits for the wicket, and hence, Kyle Jamieson, who was bowling the over wasn’t credited Rahim’s wicket. 

With the unusual dismissal, Rahim has been added to the list of batters who got dismissed for obstructing the field. The other names include Russell Endean, Andrew Hilditch, Mohsin Khan, Desmond Haynes, Mohinder Amarnath, Graham Gooch, Daryl Cullinan, Steve Waugh, Michael Vaughan, Chamu Chibhabha.