Windies U19 created a stir after South Africa U19 batsman Jiveshen Pillay was given out for obstructing the field.
The incident that occurred in the 17th over of the first innings when Pillay, after defending the ball, turned back to stop it from rolling onto the stumps and then proceeded to pick it up and pass on to the wicketkeeper. However, Windies U19 keeper who is also the captain, Emmanuel Stewart, let out a light appeal that brought the on-field umpires together before Pillay was adjudged out by the third umpire.
The decision taken is on the basis of ICC’s law 37.4 which states – 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 uses his bat or any part of his person, including a hand not holding the bat, to return the ball to any fielder.South Africa U19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane chose to play down the incident during the innings break. “Our take is very simple. We play to the laws of the game. And it’s part of the laws, and hopefully we learn from it,” he told the broadcaster.
While the decision was in accordance with the rules of the game, it immediately sparked debate over ‘Spirit of Cricket’, particularly on social media. South Africa’s senior team captain, Faf du Plessis rubbished the decision on Twitter, echoing the sentiments of plenty of other cricketers as well.
This isn’t the first time that a Windies U19 team has been caught in this debate. During the previous edition of the World Cup when they claimed a two-run victory over Zimbabwe U19 by finishing the game with a ‘Mankad’.