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Why Mushfiqur Rahim Was Out ‘Obstructing The Field’, Not ‘Handling The Ball’ Against New Zealand

Mushfiqur Rahim in action for Bangladesh cricket team© X (formerly Twitter)

Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim on Wednesday became the first Bangladesh batter to be given out for ‘obstructing the field’ in a bizarre dismissal on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand here. The 36-year-old Rahim defended a rising delivery from New Zealand quick Kyle Jamieson in the fourth ball of the 41st over and then extended his right hand to apparently keep the ball away after it bounced up wide outside off stump. The Black Caps were quick to appeal and the on-field umpires referred the matter to the TV umpire Ahsan Raza who gave Rahim out.

According to Law 37.1.2, “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 willfully 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. 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.”

Earlier such dismissals were classified as “handled the ball” but a change in the laws in 2017 brought them under “obstructing the field” category.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was the last batter to be given out ‘handling the ball’ against India in 2001.

Rahim was Bangladesh’s top-scorer with his 35 off 83 balls as the hosts were bundled out for 172 inside 67 overs.

Bangladesh won the first Test in Sylhet by 150 runs.

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