What's your decision?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Azzopardi is a member of the Cricket Victoria State Umpire Panel. He commenced umpiring in 2013/2014. He has officiated in two 1st Grade Women's Finals and a 2nd and 4th Grade men's final. At Cricket Australia level he has officiated four WNCL, eleven WBBL, one futures league and six matches as 4th umpire in BBL. He has also officiated in three Cricket Australia under age carnivals.
Two seasons ago, I was officiating a premier cricket 1st grade match between Melbourne University and Essendon, where I found myself questioning my decision. I was at the bowler’s end when the bowler delivered a fair delivery which struck the batter on the pads. The ball trickled just in front of the popping crease and the non-striker called the batter through for a run. I started to move into position and whilst watching the ball, I noticed the non-striker impede the bowler from picking up the ball in the attempt of a run out opportunity. In my opinion, the non-striker had changed his line of direction whilst attempting the run and moved across and in line with the ball. As a result of this change of direction, he obstructed the bowler from picking up the ball. There was an appeal from the bowler towards me.
At that time I understood what the appeal was for and called dead ball. I retrieved the ball and consulted my partner at square leg. I ran through what I saw and asked for any other information that he could add to assist my decision. It was evident in my opinion that a breach of the law was committed.
I then approached the captain of the fielding side and asked if he wanted to go through with the appeal. After some deliberation on his part, he withdrew the appeal. I then signalled leg byes to the scorers and the game continued.
In hindsight, with the current climate of mankad and the interpretation of the laws, next time I would be inclined to give the batter out on appeal and wait for the captain to withdraw his appeal before the batter walks off the ground.
How would you manage these scenario? Reply in the comments below.