August 21, 2002

Wilkinson's `double-edged' sword causes debate

Kurt Wilkinson was a rare hit the ball twice victim in Barbados' Red Stripe Bowl match against the Leewards XI on Sunday.

But there was some debate over his controversial dismissal at the Melbourne club ground.

After playing a defensive shot against spinner Alex Adams, the ball appeared to have bounced off the pitch and struck the toe of his bat.

It was met with an appeal by the Leewards players and Wilkinson was promptly given out for 16.

His actions, however, never appeared deliberate and rule books were immediately brought out to seek clarification.

Law 34 1 (a) reads: "The striker is out Hit the ball twice if, while the ball is in play, it strikes any part of his person or is struck by his bat and before the ball has been touched by a fielder, he wilfully strikes it again with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, except for the sole purpose of guarding his wicket."

The key word here appears to be "wilfully", which dictionaries describe as "deliberately", "intentionally" or "knowingly". Wilkinson seemed unlucky.