Footage has surfaced of a Canadian cricketer’s controversial act during a T20 contest in Mexico, which has sparked debate among pundits.
Footage has surfaced of a Canadian cricketer’s illegal act during a 20-over contest against the USA at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers last week.
The incident occurred in the first over of Canada’s innings at Reforma Athletic Club, with American seamer Sara Farooq bowling at opener Divya Saxena, who was yet to score at the time.
Farooq’s short delivery was edged into the air, and a cluster of American fielders sprinted in to claim the catch.
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But Saxena also ran towards where the ball was landing, obstructing American wicketkeeper Sindhu Sriharsha from potentially taking a catch.
According to Law 37.3, a batter is out obstructing the field if “wilful obstruction or distraction by either batter prevents the striker being out caught”.
The USA team appealed for a wicket, but umpire Nigel Duguid permitted Saxena to continue her innings.
The decision proved a crucial one — Saxena top-scored with 40 as Canada clinched a shock seven-run victory. It was America’s only defeat in the T20 competition.
Cricket writer Nick Friend posted on Twitter: “This is sensational, and by far the most gloriously blatant piece of obstructing the field I’ve ever seen.”
Obstructing the field dismissals are a rarity in professional cricket, but instances always spark debate among pundits.
Back in March, Sri Lankan batter Danushka Gunathilaka was controversially given out obstructing the field against the West Indies, while Victoria’s Sam Harper was dismissed in bizarre circumstances during a Marsh Cup game a few weeks later.
And England all-rounder Ben Stokes was infamously removed obstructing the field during a one-day match against Australia in 2015.
Also in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers, the Brazilian national women’s side claimed a miraculous one-run win over Canada, taking five wickets in five consecutive deliveries to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Saxena was named MVP of the T20 competition in Mexico, scoring 180 runs in six innings for Canada.
The USA women’s team finished top of the ladder in the Americas Qualifier with five wins, and will subsequently advance to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in 2022.