Quinton de Kock attempts to run out Fakhar Zaman during the second ODI at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Cricket fans are upset at the Pakistan national team's defeat to South Africa and Quinton De Kock "cheating" Fakhar Zaman of five runs.
Fans took the falling of Fakhar Zaman’s wicket hard at the end of a hard-fought battle against South Africa on Sunday night.
Since then, groups of cricket fanatics have taken to Twitter, creating a ruckus over their perceived “cheating” by De Kock and “poor officiating” by the umpires and match referee.
Their cries have been echoed by cricket journalists and professionals around the world.
But on Monday, according to media reports, de Kock is unlikely to face any sanction over the run out of Fakhar Zaman during the Proteas' 17-run win in the second ODI.
After reviewing footage of the incident, match officials are believed to have come to the conclusion that de Kock was not in breach of the law on fielders deceiving batsmen.
In the last over of the match, with Pakistan still needing 30 to win, de Kock seemingly gestured for South African Aiden Markram to throw to the bowler's end, where Haris Rauf was heading.
Fakhar, who had struck an outstanding 193, looked behind him, away from the direction of the fielder, as he was running towards the wicketkeeper and was surprised when Markram's throw hit the stumps at that end.
Social media immediately went into overdrive with cries that de Kock had flouted the law on fake fielding, which states that "it is unfair for any fielder willfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball."
Fakhar admitted after the match that he had been taken by surprise but did not attempt to deflect blame for the dismissal on to cheating by the South African wicketkeeper.
"I was looking at Haris Rauf because I thought the run-out would be at his end. It was my own fault," he said at the post-match press conference.
Officials are understood to have deemed that de Kock's actions were not a trick and that he was indicating for the throw to go to the bowler's end.
South African fielder Tabraiz Shamsi tweeted on Monday that de Kock was calling for a fielder to back up the throw at the non-striker's end.
"QDK was NOT speaking 2 or pointing at the batsman, he was asking a fielder to back up at the non strikers end," tweeted Shamsi.
"Not Quinnys fault the batman turned around 2 see instead of completing the run safely which he should have done."
Legendary fast bowler Waqar Younis too took notice of the incident and praised Zaman for his innings.
Cricket journalist Zainab Abbas was a lot more direct and purposeful with her tweet.
Another incident that has sparked controversy took place in the 47th over of the same game, when South African captain Temba Bavuma dropped Zaman’s catch, only for the ball to then hit his hat, which had fallen on the field. This should’ve resulted in the Pakistan team being awarded five runs, in line with the rules, but the umpires seemed to have missed it.
In the cricket rule book, Law 28.2.2 states that it is "not illegal fielding if the ball in play makes contact with a piece of clothing, equipment or any other object which has accidentally fallen from the fielder's person." Had Pakistan been granted the five runs, we would have entered the final over needing just 26 runs off it, and fans argue that the game could have ended very differently.
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