The law stumps Inzamam
Inzamam-ul-Haq was involved in a controversial dismissal for the second time this season when the umpires gave him out for obstructing the field. Inzamam had pushed a Sreesanth delivery to mid-off and stepped a couple of yards out of his crease. An alert Suresh Raina threw the ball at the stumps, but Inzamam blocked the throw with his bat while still out of the crease.
The laws regarding fielding, 37 (1) and (2), are clear on this issue. Law 37 (1) states that a batsman is obstructing the field if he willfully obstructs or distracts the opposing side by word or action. It is also regarded as obstruction if a batsman willfully, and without the consent of the fielding side, strikes the ball with his bat or person - other than the hand not holding the bat - after the ball has touched a fielder. And Law 37 (2), on accidental obstruction, states it is for either umpire to decide whether any obstruction or distraction is willful or not. Furthermore, the umpires can consult each other in case of any doubt.
Inzamam's blocking was patently a willful obstruction going by what the above rules say and both the umpires - Simon Taufel and Asad Rauf - consulted each other before ruling him out.
Earlier, during the second Test against England in Faisalabad, Inzamam was incorrectly judged run-out when he lifted his back foot from the crease while taking evasive action to avoid a throw from Steve Harmison on his follow-through.
Nagraj Gollapudi is Assistant Editor of Cricinfo Magazine