Watch: Mystery ball? Unfair? Bowler does 360-degree turn before delivering the ball
An Under-23 CK Nayudu match between Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in Kalyani has sparked a debate on the laws of the game after spinner Shiva Singh made a 360-degree turn before delivering the ball. The Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner's move has now started a debate surrounding the laws regarding fairness after the umpire Vinod Seshan called it a dead-ball.
The on-field umpire suggested that the spinner, who featured in the U-19 World Cup earlier this year, was trying to distract the batsman using unfair means. The two umpires then explained what just transpired to the bemused set of fielders and the captain of the bowling side.
Here is a video of the incident:
While the action that preceded the delivery was certainly strange, there are laws in place to let the umpire judge whether it was unfair play or not. Law 41 deals with unfair play and section 41.2 clearly states that it is the job of the umpire to decide whether it was fair or not.
41.2 Fair and unfair play – responsibility of umpires
The umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play. If either umpire considers an action, not covered by the Laws, to be unfair he/she shall intervene without appeal and, if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball and implement the procedure as set out in 41.19. Otherwise umpires shall not interfere with the progress of play without appeal except as required to do so by the Laws.
Law 41.19 deals with "Unfair actions" and clears states that the umpires have the final say.
41.19 Unfair actions
41.19.1 If an umpire considers that any action by a player, not covered in the Laws, is unfair, he/she shall call and signal Dead ball, if appropriate, as soon as it becomes clear that the call will not disadvantage the non-offending side, and report the matter to the other umpire.
The law also goes on to state that the umpire can go on to issue a first and final warning to all members of the side committing the offence and warn that any similar offence in the future will result in the opposing team being awarded 5 penalty runs.
In this case, the umpires decided that the bowler doing a 360-degree turn before delivering the ball was unfair play and warned the captain as a result. However, that left the UP fielders and the bowlers bemused.
Whether the umpire made the right call or not is still up for debate. But one thing is for certain. That just opened a new can of worms and while some like Michael Vaughan is in support of it, that opinion is going to be far from universal.