In a historic turn of events during the second Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand, seasoned cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim found himself at the centre of controversy as he became the first-ever Bangladesh batter to be given out obstructing the field in Test cricket. The incident occurred on the first day of the match, raising eyebrows and sparking discussions about the unusual dismissal.
Why Mushfiqur Rahim was Out Obstructing the Field and Not Handling the Ball
In the 41st over of Bangladesh’s innings, Mushfiqur Rahim faced a delivery from Kyle Jamieson, defending it into the ground. What followed was a peculiar swatting motion with his right hand after the ball had bounced up wide outside the off stump. The New Zealand team immediately appealed, leading to the TV umpire Ahsan Raza upholding the decision.
Change in Laws – Obstructing the Field vs. Handling the Ball
Formerly classified as “handled the ball,” such dismissals were reshaped under the umbrella of “obstructing the field” following a significant rule change in 2017. According to Law 37.1.2, a striker is out obstructing the field if, in the act of receiving a ball, they wilfully strike the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This adjustment aimed to streamline dismissals, eliminating the need for a separate category and simplifying the overall structure of cricket laws.
Mushfiqur’s Unconscious Action and Former Captain’s Commentary
Former Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal, providing commentary during the Test, expressed disbelief at Mushfiqur’s actions, emphasizing that with over 80 Tests under his belt, the seasoned player should have known better. Iqbal attributed the incident to a possible unconscious repetition of net practice habits, where batters often handle the ball.
Rare Dismissal in Cricket History
Mushfiqur Rahim’s dismissal places him in a rare category, joining the likes of Mohinder Amarnath, Mohsin Khan, and Michael Vaughan, as only the 11th player in international cricket to be dismissed for handling the ball. The unique nature of the dismissal, coupled with Rahim’s prominent standing in Bangladesh cricket, has sparked discussions across social media platforms.