When do you see a bowler take a 360 degree-turn at the crease before delivering the ball? Well,Uttar Pradeshbowler Shiva Singh tried this in aCK NayuduTrophy (U-23) match against Bengal in Kalyani. The delivery was promptly deemed a ‘dead ball’ by umpire Vinod Seshan.
Seshan’s decision was solely based on MCC’s law 18.104.22.168 — “either umpire shall call and signal dead ball when there is an instance or deliberate attempt to distract under either of the Laws 41.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract the striker) or 41.5 (Deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of batsman). The ball shall not count as one of the over.”
However, law 41 that deals with ‘Unfair Play’ does little justice to the bowler when it comes to distraction. During instances of the batsmen shuffling across the stumps or making room by drifting towards the leg-side while the bowler is in his run-up, there is no law that questions the batsman. Even the umpire has no authority to demand a justification from the batsman.
Former India bowler, Balwinder Singh Sandhu argued this point. “When a batsman tries to leave his crease or moves to the leg-side to distract the bowler, why don’t the umpires stop him? It is only a part of the bowler’s creativity to do such a thing (Shiva’s act),” Sandhu told TOI.
“Hats off to the bowler for trying something like that and completing the delivery. I don’t think he has done anything wrong like bending his elbow,” he added. Retired umpireSimon Taufelfocused on the intent of the batsman versus that of the bowler. “The intent of the reverse action is different,” Taufel told cricketnext. “One is necessary to play the shot, the other is not in order to maintain the same mode of delivery.”
Many experts are still debating this issue and also the point whether the laws are limiting the bowlers’ creativity.