Bangladesh accuses Kohli of ‘fake fielding’ in T20 WC match

On Wednesday, November 2, after India defeated Bangladesh by 5 runs in a Super 12s match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan complained that the on-field umpires had overlooked an instance of “fake fielding” by Virat Kohli, which could have given Bangladesh five potentially significant penalty runs.

After the game, Nurul spoke with the media and brought up the issue. Hasan said that the run chase was hampered by the wet field and that Kohli’s deceptive throw went overshadowed on the day. “Certainly, the field was wet and it had an impact and everyone saw that and eventually, what I felt is that when we were talking there was a fake throw and it could have been a five-run penalty and that could have gone our way, but unfortunately, even that didn’t come,” said Hasan.

In the seventh over of Bangladesh’s batting at Adelaide Oval, Litton Das played the ball off Axar Patel in the direction of the deep off-side field. Arshdeep Singh threw the ball, and Kohli, who was positioned at the point, seemed to be catching it and throwing it on the stumps. However, as visible in the camera recording, the ball did not reach the hands of Kohli. 

The on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown didn’t do anything about it at the time, and neither did the Bangladesh batsmen. Though it seems that it was a deception by Kohli, there is a possibility that Kohli missed the ball but acted in reflex to throw it at the stumps, without realizing that the ball was not in his hands.

Unfair play is prohibited under Law 41.5 of the ICC, which forbids “deliberate distraction, deception, or obstruction of [the] batter.” The umpire has the authority to declare a dead ball and award the batting team five runs if they feel that something happened that was against the rules.

The umpiring in the match was also in the spotlight when Kohli was batting in the 16th over. When Kohli top-edged a pull towards square leg in the 16th over of India’s batting, he signalled a no-ball to umpire Erasmus because he thought Hasan Mahmud of Bangladesh had bowled two bouncers in that over. It was requested due to the height of the ball.

Erasmus ruled it a no-ball and found himself between Kohli and Shakib Al Hasan, who had emerged from the covers. The two players hugged one other and went away after around 90 seconds of discussion. When Kohli was pursuing in the India-Pakistan match, umpires issued a similar no-ball. That ball was a full toss above the waist. There was a similar argument from the Pakistani team over the no-ball.

India and Bangladesh played a thrilling Super 12s encounter in Adelaide, with the Indian team winning in the final over. India had scored 184 runs in 20 overs, led by fifties from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Litton Das took the Indian bowlers to the hammer as Bangladesh got off to a flying start in chase of the score. However, due to rain, the aim was reduced to 151 runs.

Virat Kohli’s brilliance was on display once again in this T20 tournament, as the Indian star blasted another unbeaten half-century to lead India to victory.

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