The 2019 World Cup got its first major controversy in the opening game itself between England and South Africa at The Oval on Thursday.
England did well to post a 311-8 and in the chase, keeper Quinton de Kock led the Proteas’ reply with a defiant fifty. However, his knock of 68 off 74 balls could have been cut short a lot earlier on 25.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid deceived the left-handed batsman with a googly and saw the ball hit the off-stump after taking an edge. But the zing bails – that light up upon impact – didn’t budge as the ball went to the boundary and the Proteas gained four runs instead of a wicket for England.
The stumps and bails – with special fittings that light up when disturbed – have become a common feature in cricket but more and more cases of bails not getting dislodged are emerging, denying bowlers legitimate dismissals.
During the recent IPL, the bails didn’t dislodge on three occasions despite clear contact. After one such incident – when KKR batsman Chris Lynn inside edged Rajasthan Royals pacer Dhawal Kulkarni onto his stumps and the ball simply sped to the boundary after the bail didn’t dislodge completely – Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane said that in such instances, the least that umpires can do is declare dead ball.
“The rules are what they are, but I told the umpire, at least don’t declare it a boundary,” Rahane had said. “It’s already so tough for the bowlers in T20, and in such a situation, a ball can maybe be declared a dead ball.”