The Quinton de Kock – Fakhar Zaman run-out law explained

Was Quinton De Kock's run out of Fakhar Zaman within the spirit of the game?
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Zaman, de Kock controversy the headline act?

During the second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan, Quinton de Kock ran Fakhar Zaman out on 193 but the dismissal itself has caused great controversy on social media. In this article, we will explore why and whether de Kock was within his rights to dismiss the batsmen.

The incident

Chasing 342, Pakistan needed 31 from the last over. While a Pakistan win was almost improbable, Fakhar needed just eight for a double ton. Unfortunately he was run out the very first ball of the final over by de Kock. It is thought that Fakhar Zaman was watching whether his partner, Haris Rauf, had made it safely to the non-striker’s end or not.

It could be clearly seen from the replays that it was de Kock who pointed towards the bowler’s end. He was fully aware that the throw had already been released by Markram to the striker’s end. It led to Fakhar slowing down and turning, eventually resulting in his dismissal.

Law & the MCC

While the general consensus is that Quinton de Kock and his “antics” were not in the spirit of the game among the followers and experts, the officials have concluded that he did not intend to deceive Fakhar Zaman when the batsman was run out in the second ODI. Hence, the wicket-keeper did not breach Law 41.5.1 on fake fielding.

The law quoted above states that “Deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of the batsman, 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”.

Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman plays a shot during the second one-day international (ODI) cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on April 4, 2021. – The South African team’s kit and the wickets are pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. (Photo by Christiaan Kotze / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP via Getty Images)

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The subsequent section of the law states that “It is for either one of the best cricket umpires chosen by the ICC to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not”.

Though the MCC via it’s twitter handle clarified that it was up to the umpire’s interpretation, several ex-players such as Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis reacted strongly against De Kock’s trickery.

Experts weigh in

Akhtar, who is very active on his YouTube channel stated on his video that ” What Quinton de Kock did, I wouldn’t call it cheating, but it was not in the good spirit of the game.” He further said that “The spirit of the game was hurt which I didn’t like.”

Quinton de Kock is a great player and he shouldn’t do it deliberately. Fakhar thought that when the throw was made, it would come to the non-striker’s end and he [de Kock] also made the same gesture.”

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Amid all the noise surrounding the incident, the batsman involved, Fakhar Zaman, by his own admission thought that Quinton de Kock did not do anything wrong. He said “The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris Rauf at the other end as I felt he’d started off a little late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble. The rest is up to the match referee, but I don’t think it’s Quinton’s fault.”

The third and final ODI is tomorrow at Supersport Park Centurion and you can read the match preview here!

What’s your own personal opinion? Have your say on the Quinton de Kock – Fakhar Zaman run out debate below in the comments section!

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