What Is Fake Fielding In Cricket? The Rules Explained.
The T20 Men’s World Cup 2022 has left cricket fans all over the world crying tears of either joy or sorrow. A major cricket tournament like this is rarely devoid of drama or controversies, and the semi-finals qualifier match of India vs Bangladesh is no exception.
The November 2 semi-final qualifying match between the two Asian giants, team India and team Bangladesh, in the Adelaide Oval, was full of unexpected twists and of course, rain.
Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, who smashed records and created history by becoming the highest-run scorer in the history of the T20 World Cup, is being accused of “Fake Fielding,” by Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan.
Hasan claims that Kohli's fake fielding went unnoticed by the two umpires. The five runs that would have equaled Bangladesh's losing margin should have been deducted from Kohli's penalty. Bangladesh is now demanding the International Cricket Council (ICC) probe into the matter.
What Is Fake Fielding?
Fake fielding is defined as the “deliberate distraction, deception, or obstruction of batsman.”
According to Cricket Law 41.5, cricketers are prohibited from misleading, deceiving, or impeding any batter after the striker has received the ball by using words or actions.
"It is for any one of the umpires to determine whether any distraction, deceit, or obstruction is wilful or not," states Cricket Law 41.5.2.
If the umpires had determined that a player had engaged in distraction, deception, or obstruction, Law 41.5.3 would have been put into effect: "If either umpire considers that a fielder has engaged in such distraction, deception, or obstruction, he/she shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call."
When a fielder is found guilty of “Fake Fielding,” the batting team is awarded 5 penalty runs.
The law was implemented because fielders were deliberately pretending to hold the ball in order to deceive the batters and prevent them from scoring more runs.
What Has Happened?
India chose to bat first and gave a target of 185 runs to Bangladesh. However, during the second half of the game, the rain fell heavier than expected and the target of 185 was downsized to 151.
The incident took place during the 7th over of Bangladesh’s chase. Batsman Litton Das, soaring high with 56 runs from 24 balls, played the ball off Axar Patel in the direction of the deep off-side field.
Indian fast bowler, Arshdeep Singh, caught the ball and threw it. Kohli, who was positioned at the point, pretended to be reticent as the ball passed by him.
The gesture went unnoticed by almost everyone present on the field, including the umpires.
Team Bangladesh would have awarded five runs if on-field umpires Chris Brown and Marais Erasmus had deemed Virat Kohli's actions were an attempt to purposefully mislead the batsman.
The penalty, however, must be awarded by the umpires in real time.
On the fake fielding incident, the truth is that nobody saw it. The umpires didn't, the batters didn't and we didn't either. Law 41.5 does make provision for penalising fake fielding (the umpire still has to interpret it thus) but no one saw it. So what do you do!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 3, 2022