The most controversial runout of Under-19 World Cup, obstructing the field decision raises eyebrows — WATCH

Mitchell Johnson did not seem disappointed by Windies players who appealed for obstructing the field in Under-19 World Cup game against South Africa

The first controversy of the Under-19 World Cup has surfaced and it’s already creating ripples on the internet among the cricketing fraternity. The incident happened in the 17th over of South Africa’s innings in a match against the West Indies.

South African opener Jiveshan Pillay tried to slash the ball which was bowled towards offside but ended up getting an inside edge off his bat on to the pads. The ball landed just behind the crease. Pillay picked the ball up when it was dead and gave it to the wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart.

The Windies skipper then talked to the on-field umpires and they went upstairs for the decision. After a halt of five long minutes, Pillay was given out for handling the ball (obstructing the field). Commentators Anjum Chopra and Tom Moody were not pleased by the decision of the third Umpire as the ball was stationary when he picked it up and gave it to the wicketkeeper.

Handling the ball has always been a controversial decision. As a result, people are questioning the spirit of cricket of the Windies youngsters.

Here’s the video of the incident –

However, technically one can’t question the Windies player as per the rules. According to Law 37.4 (Returning the ball to a fielder), “Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.” As per the new law, introduced last year, handling the ball rule applies before the striker has “finished playing the ball” while obstructing the field applies afterward.

Here’s how cricketers and other Twitterati reacted to the controversy –

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However, South African coach Lawrence Mahatlane doused the flames in his interview after the innings. He said,

Our take is very simple. We play to the laws of the game, and it’s part of the laws. It’s happened so hopefully we’ll learn for a long time from it.

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Former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson seemed to be in a no-nonsense mood as he questioned other cricketers who were disappointed after the incident.

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Pillay got out for 47 runs from 51 balls and missed out on a half-century. Despite his wicket, South Africa posted a decent total of 282 for 8 in 50 overs.