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Virat Kohli’s Prank Raises Bangladesh’s Hackles

Virat Kohli is in the news yet again. Not alone for his run getting ability —  he scored a third half century in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup  against Bangladesh at the Adelaide Oval — but also for a prank on the field that some believe was tantamount to faking a throw. Law 41.5.1 says that it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batter after the striker has received the ball. The Law further says: It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not. The operative part is wilful which the umpires Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown deemed that Kohli’s mock throw was not wilful. Bangladesh’s Nurul Hasan though felt that Kohli’s action was to distract the player Hossain Shanto running towards the non-striker’s end, while the throw from Arshdeep Singh was directed towards the striker’s end. Obviously the on-field umpires did not intervene to summon the India captain Rohit Sharma or Kohli or have reported the incident to the match referee. It has been a matter of opinion among the fans and experts alike, but the umpires just went on with the game that India won by five runs.