The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) said that it was “up to the umpires to decide” if Quinton de Kock had attempted to distract or deceive Fakhar Zaman in the second one-dayer.
The run-out took place in the final over of Pakistan’s chase of 342, when they needed 31 from six balls.
Zaman was trying to complete a second run, but de Kock gestured towards the bowler’s end even as Zaman neared the batting end. Zaman appeared to slow down, and a direct hit from Aiden Markram at long-off caught him short.
Law 41.5.1 states: “It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball”#MCCLawspic.twitter.com/gUXoBM9ZJ5
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) April 4, 2021
Later on, the MCC Twitter handle posted the law related to the dismissal – about a fielder wilfully attempting to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman – but without really saying if de Kock was guilty or not.
The debate around de Kock’s gesture was whether he was intentionally attempting to deceive Zaman into thinking that the throw was headed for the other end – which could have led to Zaman slowing down and turning around – or whether de Kock was instead signalling to the fielder or bowler.
Under Law 41.5 of the MCC, about “deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of batsman”, Law 41.5.1 says: “… it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball”, and Law 41.5.2 says, “it is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not”.
In this case, the umpires did not take any action against de Kock, but if they had, Law 41.5.3 would have come into effect: “If either umpire considers that a fielder has caused or attempted to cause such a distraction, deception or obstruction, he/she shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call.”