The Cricket World Cup in England and Wales observed possibly its first curious case of a nudge with the laws. The incident happened during the 23rd match in the first innings of West Indies batting against Bangladesh in Taunton on June 17.
West Indies fast bowler Oshane Thomas survived a hit-wicket appeal despite hitting the stumps with his bat.
It happened on the penultimate delivery of the penultimate over when Thomas missed a Mustafizur Rahman delivery. But he missed the ball completely and absurdly, the bails came off moments later.
Bangladesh appealed for hit wicket, umpires gave a soft signal for not out. After some discussion, the two on-field umpires decided to go upstairs. Replays pointed out that Thomas had brought the bails down with his bat. The umpire rightly adjudged it to be not out per MCC’s Law 35.
The law states, “The striker is out Hit wicket if after the bowler has entered the delivery stride and while the ball is in play, his/her wicket is put down by either the striker’s bat or person.”
Accordingly, Thomas took the bails down not while preparing to face the delivery. And not during or immediately after completion of the swing.
Oshane Thomas survives hit-wicket appeal:
Additionally, MCC’s Rule 35.2, regarding not out on hit wickets, says, “The striker is not out under this Law should his/her wicket be put down in any of the ways referred to in 35.1. If it occurs after the striker has completed any action in receiving the delivery.”
A similar incident happened in 1998 while South Africa taking on Australia in Adelaide. Mark Waugh clipped the bails but was given not out by the third umpire due to the same rule.
While Shaun Pollock bowled the delivery, Mark Waugh was walking away from the wickets well. He unknowingly knocked the bails over while doing so. The South Africa side captained by Hansie Cronje and experienced players Pat Symcox and Shaun Pollock looked agitated with the decision. The Proteas felt robbed of a wicket and a win after Waugh went on to score an unbeaten 115. It ensured Australia saved the Test and went on to win the series 1-0. In disgust, Cronje’s speared the umpires’ dressing room door with a stump.