Antigua, March 11 (IANS) Sri Lanka opener Danushka Gunathilaka became the first Sri Lankan player and only the eighth in the history of ODI cricket to be given out for obstructing the field.
It happened during the first match against the West Indies.
The incident occurred off the first ball of the 22nd over bowled by West Indies captain Kieron Pollard on Wednesday. Gunathilaka, who was batting on 55 off 61 balls, played at a length delivery and the ball dropped by his feet.
Pathum Nissanka, who was at the non-striker’s end, came charging down for the single and Pollard also ran forward spotting the chance to effect a run-out.
However, Gunathilaka sent Nissanka back and back-heeled the ball while getting back into his crease just as Pollard was bending down to pick it up. Pollard could then be heard saying “How was that umpire?” on the stump mic.
Umpire Joel Wilson referred the decision to the third umpire and gave a soft decision of out. The third umpire wasted little time in confirming Wilson’s call and Gunathilaka had to walk back to the pavilion.
This is the first instance of a batsman being given out for obstructing the field in international cricket since December 8, 2019 when USA’s Xavier Marshall, who has also played for the West Indies between 2005 and 2009, was sent back against the UAE in Sharjah during an ICC World Cup League 2 match. It is also the first instance of a dismissal of this nature in a bilateral ODI series since September 5, 2015 when England’s Ben Stokes was given out against Australia at Lord’s in London.