England v Australia, 2nd ODI, Lord's September 5, 2015

Stokes given out obstructing the field

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Watch - Stokes given out obstructing the field

Ben Stokes has become just the sixth batsman, and first England player, to be given out obstructing the field in a one-day international. The incident occurred in the 26th over of England's chase at Lord's when Stokes reacted to a shy at the stumps by the bowler, Mitchell Starc, by sticking out a glove as he spun away from the throw.

Matthew Wade, the wicketkeeper, was the most vocal in making the appeal which was then supported by captain Steven Smith. It led the on-field umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Tim Robinson, to call for the third umpire, Joel Wilson, to adjudicate on the decision which he viewed in slow motion.

Then, amid a chorus of boos around Lord's, Stokes was given out with Eoin Morgan clearly unhappy with the decision while the England balcony looked on astonished.

Law 37 (obstructing the field) states: "Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. In particular, but not solely, it shall be regarded as obstruction and either batsman will be out Obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball, as defined in Law 33.1, he wilfully strikes the ball with (i) a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury. See also Law 33.2 (Not out Handled the ball). (ii) any other part of his person or with his bat. See also Law 34 (Hit the ball twice). "

The only player to be out obstructed the field in a Test was England's Len Hutton against South Africa at The Oval in 1951.

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  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2015, 0:45 GMT

    What a dreadful decision and proof that Aussies have no idea of sportsmanship in cricket. Stokes only half reacted to defend himself and certainly not obstructing the fielding side. The TMO made the wrong decision but the Aussie Captain made a bigger mistake by not withdrawing his team's appeal in the spirit of cricket.

  • Dummy4 on September 7, 2015, 13:44 GMT

    had this been a pakistani batsman than these commentators would have had a totally different view. i remember similarly inzi was totally innocent when defending himself but was declared out. this is a grey area of cricket that's needs to be reviewed say had starc injured stoke than starc would be under the hammer.

  • geoff on September 6, 2015, 10:35 GMT

    the comments saying stokes is out are calculated and clear. those saying not out are mostly emotional and opinionated. I wouldn't be surprised if Botham said stokes is such a hero that he instinctively protects people next to him from danger rather than himself

  • rahul on September 6, 2015, 5:50 GMT

    High flying England brought down to earth. Botham says than England can still win the series but the truth is England are just an average odi team. England won series against new zealand because of flat pitches where even players like Ben stokes got runs.

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2015, 5:37 GMT

    "If the player will fully attempts to obstruct" Does anybody believe that the three umpires can read the mind of Stokes to say yes he did it willfully? This decision to me is an absolute farce.

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2015, 4:31 GMT

    What has happened to the spirit of cricket, that you accept the umpires decision, no matter what it is.

  • rahul on September 6, 2015, 3:09 GMT

    People First of all Ben stokes is just an average player and He is unfit to play at no5. Botham and holding are saying like" had he given not out, England would have won the match."

  • annoyed on September 6, 2015, 2:54 GMT

    @BBC7, The only one is immature and stupid is you.

    Stokes had to move his hand well away from his body, how the hell is that protecting against injury. Or is just the opportunity to Aussie bash?

  • clair on September 6, 2015, 1:15 GMT

    What was most disappointing was the way in which the sky commentators reacted, it was a 50-50 decision and the sky lads made fools of themselves with there one eyed views, and the interview at the end of the game with Steve Smith was a disgrace, Atherton should be ashamed of himself...... and they have the nerve to criticize channel 9!!!!

  • StJohn on September 5, 2015, 23:43 GMT

    It seems to me (as an England supporter too) that this was a marginal call really. If the umpires had given Stokes not out then that would have been a perfectly reasonable decision; similarly I think the decision to give him out was reasonable too. Personally, I think on balance the old "benefit of the doubt" (something that seems to have gone out of the window these days) should have tipped it the batsman's way, as I don't think anyone can be sufficiently certain (1) that Stokes wasn't simply reacting instantaneously in self-defence or (2) that Stokes's reaction, if instantaneous, was 'wilful' within the meaning of law 37. On the other hand, his reactions and athleticism are exceptional (as proven by his fielding/catching this summer), so he probably gets, and is entitled to, significantly less benefit of the doubt than mere mortals like me who just potter about with a bat just a few Sundays a year.

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