Mushfiqur Rahim (Pic: AFP)
Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim on Wednesday became only the 11th player in Test cricket history, and first in 22 years, to be given out for 'obstructing the field' on the opening day of the BAN vs NZ 2nd Test.
Rahim, who became the first Bangladesh batter to be dismissed in this way, blocked a climbing delivery from New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson in the fourth ball of the 41st over, and then tried to keep the ball away with his right hand even though it was far from the off-stump.
The Kiwis quickly appealed and the on-field umpires referred the matter to the TV umpire Ahsan Raza who gave Rahim out. He made 35.
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Bangladesh, who lead the series 1-0, were bundled out for 172 in their first innings but later reduced NZ to 55 for 5 at close of play.
The last player to be given out in Test cricket in a similar fashion was former England captain Michael Vaughan in the Bengaluru match against India in 2001. Vaughan had made 64 then.
"It happened in the flow of the game. A batter has to take a split-second decision while at the crease. His hand probably went in the flow of his batting. Mushfiqur bhai didn't do it intentionally," said Bangladesh player Mehidy Hasan Miraz after the day's play.
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Legendary England batter Len Hutton was the first player to be given out for 'obstructing the field' during a Test match against South Africa in 1951.
Other batters to feature in the list in Test cricket are: William Endean of SA (1957), Andrew Hilditch of Australia (1979), Mohsin Khan (Pakistan, 1982), Desmond Haynes (West Indies, 1983), Graham Gooch (England, 1993), Steve Waugh (Australia, 2001), Marvan Atapattu (Sri Lanka, 2001) and Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka 2001).
India also has representation in this 'rare club' through former batter Mohinder Amarnath, who was dismissed in this manner twice, albeit in one-day cricket.
Amarnath was also the first batter in ODIs to get dismissed in this way in a match against Australia at Melbourne in 1986.
The second instance came during India's match against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad in 1989.
According to Law 37.1.2, 'The striker is out obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike. The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket.'
Earlier, such dismissals were classified as 'handled the ball' but a change in the laws in 2017 brought them under 'obstructing the field' category.
(With agency inputs)