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CSK, RR break silence after Ravindra Jadeja given out obstructing the field: ‘If the ball hits your body…’

Michael Hussey and Kumar Sangakkara, who are with Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively, gave their verdicts of the Ravindra Jadeja dismissal.

On Sunday, during Chennai Super Kings’ home against Rajasthan Royals, only for the third time in the history of IPL, a batter was given out, obstructing the field. Ravindra Jadeja joined a rare list featuring Yusuf Pathan and Amit Mishra to, unfortunately, be given out when he came in the way of a throw directed at the stumps from Sanju Samson. The decision was referred to the third umpire, and after some deliberation, Anil Chaudhary signalled ‘out’ on the giant screen, leaving Jadeja miffed.

A dejected Ravindra Jadeja walks back after being given out(AFP)

The CSK all-rounder clarified his doubts with the umpire but to no avail. Thankfully, the dismissal did not come back to haunt CSK, who prevailed over RR by five wickets to keep their playoff chances alive. However, it triggered a debate as to whether Jadeja was indeed out, with both franchises reacting to it. As per the rules, law 37.1 of the MCC states, “either batter is out obstructing the field if, while the ball is in play, they wilfully attempt to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.”

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CSK batting coach Michael Hussey feels the decision could have gone either way. After opting for a second run, Jadeja was halfway down the middle of the pitch when he decided to run back. However, in doing so, Jadeja, from the extreme left, changed his running trajectory and came directly in the way of Samson’s throw. The ball hit Jadeja, thus bringing the obstruction part into play, but since he did change the angle at some part of running back, Hussey understands why the correct call was made.

“Didn’t look closely at it. He did try to turn around, so he changed his angle a little bit. But he didn’t change his angle while running straight. I can see both sides of the story. I can understand the umpire making the decision. The rule says you cannot change your line, so maybe it was a fair call,” he said after the match.

Sangakkara speaks

Hussey’s counterpart, Kumar Sangakkara, was confident and satisfied with the umpire’s decision. The former Sri Lanka captain pointed out that the deal-breaker in the dismissal proved to be Jadeja’s change in angle as he decided to head back. Had Jadeja stuck to his trajectory while switching back for the run, Sangakkara says it wouldn’t have made the difference, but since the CSK all-rounder did otherwise and blocked a potential run-out, there was no way he wouldn’t have been given out. Whether Samson’s hit would have hit the stumps, no one would know, but whatever could be made of the throw, it did look pretty flat and accurate.

“The law says that if a batter changes his direction and gets in the way of the throw, it is considered an obstruction. The rule was changed for the same reason a few years back. Even if you are (running) in the middle, and if the ball hits your body, it’s considered out. Had he (Jadeja) run straight on the side where he stopped, it wouldn’t have been a problem at all,” Sangakkara said.


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