England in Pakistan, 2005-06 November 3, 2005

England fielding tactic under scrutiny

Cricinfo staff



Michael Vaughan's latest fielding tactic may not be within the laws of the game © Getty Images

Michael Vaughan has gained the reputation for being an uncompromising and innovative captain. His constant tinkering with field settings was a key part of the Ashes series, but his latest attempt to out-think the opposition batsmen could be about to launch a row with Pakistan.

During the final day of England's warm-up match against the Patron's XI Vaughan - who was fielding in the unfamiliar position of slip to the spinners - moved to leg-slip while deliveries were in mid-flight.

This movement goes against law 41, which states that: "Any significant movement by any fielder after the ball comes into play and before the ball reaches the striker is unfair. In the event of such unfair movement, either umpire shall call and signal dead ball."

But following England's 52-run win Vaughan said he didn't see anything wrong with his tactic and would consider using it during the Tests. "I don't think it was sportsmanship. I thought it was quite smart," reported The Times, "I moved very fast, as soon as the ball had been released. If a player is going to sweep, it is an option - we'll see if we use it in the Test matches."

A similar situation sparked the infamous Mike Gatting and Shakoor Rana row in 1987 at Faisalabad, when the two became involved in a heated exchange at square-leg. This led to a day's play being abandoned when Gatting, at first, refused to offer an apology