IT’S said the most unfortunate way to get out in a cricket match is when you’re at the non-striker’s end and the ball ricochets off the trailing hand of the bowler, hits the stumps and catches you inches short of the crease.
Bengal batsman Shreevats Goswami may not quite agree, not after the way the bizarre fashion in which he was sent back to the pavilion at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
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The lithe left-hander had pushed a length delivery straight back at Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar, who picked up the delivery in his follow through and flung it towards the striker’s end. As the ball arrived, Goswami had grounded his bat, and was safe.
However, Vinay’s throw was misdirected, and the ball struck Goswami’s bat, lifting it off the ground temporarily, before deflecting on to the stumps. As the bails came off, the Bengal wicket-keeper’s bat was in the air, which technically meant he was out.
On-field officials Pashchim Pathak and Nitin Menon though weren’t quite sure, and they referred the decision to third-umpire Virendra Sharma, who after watching a number of replays, ruled Goswami out, much to the batsman’s disappointment.
The Karnataka team though didn’t seem too bothered by the untoward manner of the dismissal, and celebrated Bengal’s third wicket with customary joy. According to Law 38 in the MCC rule-book, a batsman is given out if some part of him or his bat is not behind the popping crease at the point at which the bails come off. So the umpires were right in sending Goswami on his way. But Karnataka’s decision to stick with their appeal didn’t find them any support.
Former India all-rounder turned commentator Rohan Gavaskar, who came on air soon after the incident, wasn’t in favour of Goswami being given out even though he admitted that the umpires had no choice but to give him out.
“The law has proved to be an ass today,” he said before repeatedly insisting that Karnataka should have withdrawn the appeal.
“I would have expected a champion team like Karnataka to withdraw their appeal rather than stick to it,” he added.