Of hitting the ball twice, the spirit of the game and earning brownie points

Hit the ball twice - If a batsman hits the ball twice other than for the purposes of protecting his wicket or with the consent of the opposition, or if he attempts a run after hitting the ball twice to protect his wicket, he is out.

Escape from disgrace
No batsman has ever been given out in this fashion in international cricket (correct me if am wrong). Andy Blignaut came perilously close to becoming the first to do so in last week's match between Zimbabwe and New Zealand (Harare 31st August '05). Blignaut failed to connect a ball properly off Vettori and the ball kept bouncing near his legs. He attempted to push it away with his body in vain. And when he sensed the fielders around him moving in, he vigorously hit the ball away. That was enough for the fielders to immediately appeal.

Spirit of the game
If I were the umpire, I would have followed exactly what the rule book says and given him out. But umpire Daryl Harper (officiating in his 100th one-day international), the gentleman that he is, went upto the New Zealand skipper and gave Fleming an opportunity to show some spirit and withdraw the appeal. Fleming withdrew the appeal and Blignaut stayed. That was a very good gesture from the kiwis.

Brownie Points
Thanks to Daryl, the kiwis managed to earn some good brownie points. New Zealand won the ICC spirit of cricket award last year. This year's awards (the oscars of cricket) would be presented on october 11th. The voting for the awards has not started yet and this particular gesture would definitely not go unnoticed.

Question to ponder
I dont mean to start a debate, but say the same thing were to happen towards the end of the play in tomorrow's final against India. With the trophy on the line, would Fleming do the same thing? May be he would. Say, it were the final of the world cup. Would he do it?

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Blogger Stu 3:36 PM

Hmm? With Steve Flemming I believe he would do that in all circumstances - he is a class act.

It's the same question with walking isn't it - would they do it in extreme circumstances.    



Blogger vishnupavan 5:12 PM

Yeah exactly, can they do something like that under extreme circumstances, when something huge is at stake? You can't really say until it happens. Walsh did it in the 87 world cup (by not doing a mankad and running out salim jaffer in the final over for backing up too far at the on-striker's end) and that costed the west indies a semi final berth.    



Blogger Dhruv Deepak 9:37 AM

yeah, fleming the class act who launched a disgusting verbal assault on graeme smith out of the blue as the SA skipper came in to bat.    



Blogger shakester 3:54 AM

interesting. idid not catch this one. But the way you've described it, he seems to have hit it 'for the purpose of protecting his wicket'. If so, then whats the problem? I am a little confused.

As for the spirit thing, of course the test is when the situation is tight, but thats when it gets pretty subjective as well doesn't it?    



Blogger vishnupavan 7:28 PM

akr.. it is all how you would interpret his action.. he did strike the ball with some vigour (instead of a push) and that is enough for the fielders to appeal..    



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