U19 Cricket World Cup scandal erupts between England and Zimbabwe over appeal

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The cricketing world is in uproar after a hugely controversial decision at the U19 World Cup on Sunday morning.

England’s Hamza Shaikh was given out via the ultra-rare dismissal of obstructing the field during his team’s match against Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe players have been widely criticised for not withdrawing their appeal with Piers Morgan among those to cry foul about the so-called unsporting act.

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Shaikh was batting at No. 4 for England as they looked to set a big total for Zimbabwe to chase down.

After a decent start to the innings Shaikh came to the wicket with the score 70/2.

However, he was only in for nine balls after before being sent back to the pavilion when the scandal exploded, The Sun reports.

Shaikh swung at a ball but failed to get a meaningful connection as it settled between his legs on the wicket.

The batter picked up a stationary ball and threw it to Zimbabwean wicketkeeper Ryan Kamwemba to save him the hassle of getting it himself.

Kamwemba then appealed for Shaikh to be out for obstructing the field, to which the umpire agreed.

The laws of cricket do say that a player can be given out for obstructing the field “without the consent of a fielder” if they use “the bat of any part of their person” to give the ball back.

Retired England fast bowler Steve Harmison slammed the decision as he said “the game’s gone” on commentary.

“I’m sorry that’s a shocker,” he added after seeing the replay.

“If you’re getting given out for that then the game’s gone, it really has. How can an umpire give that out?”

Morgan was scathing when commenting on the incident.

“How utterly pathetic,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Shame on these Zimbabwe players. Who wants to win like that?

Stuart Broad wrote on Twitter: “Oh get a grip. He’s passing a stationary ball back to the fielder? Doing him a favour! Cant give that out

Former England fast bowler Tim Bresnan wrote: “Some of the worst Officiating I think I’ve ever seen. Embarrassing decision. Typical example of those who know the rules but don’t know the game”.

It is one of nine ways a batter can be dismissed, but there are only eight instances in which it has happened in Men’s One Day Internationals.

The most recent example was Sri Lanka star Danushka Gunathilaka being given out against the West Indies in March 2021.