England v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, Trent Bridge

Broad's pointing antics 'needs clarity' - Smith

Stuart Board's unusual action during the Super Eights match against South Africa needs clarification by match officials, Graeme Smith feels

George Binoy at Trent Bridge

June 11, 2009

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Stuart Broad collected two early wickets in an impressive spell, England v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Bristol, May 24, 2009
Stuart Broad tried an unusual run-up, pointing towards his side as if to indicate a fielder was out of position © Getty Images
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There have been several out of the ordinary moments during the World Twenty20 matches at Trent Bridge, the highlights being Angelo Mathews' alertness in the field while going over the boundary and Tillakaratne Dilshan's audacious scoop over the wicketkeeper's head. While those innovations were widely celebrated, Stuart Board's unusual action during the Super Eights match against South Africa was more controversial.

As Broad approached his delivery stride during the 17th over, he pointed towards his side as if to indicate a fielder was out of position, but carried on with his bowling action without disrupting his own rhythm. AB de Villiers worked the ball behind square for a single so Broad's antics didn't bear fruit. It might have been more of a talking point if the ball had brought him a wicket. Broad had done it before as well, during the one-day series at home against West Indies.

When asked whether Broad's pointing was against the spirit of the game, Paul Collingwood defended his bowler and said he was not going to ask Broad to stop doing it. "The game is moving on. People are coming up with different techniques with the bat, different fielding techniques," Collingwood said. "We saw what happened the other day with the Sri Lankan fielder, jumping outside the boundary and knocking it back in. We're seeing things audiences have not seen before. As long as it's within the spirit … people are going to find different ways to unsettle batsmen."

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, also played down the issue but said that it "needs clarity". "We saw that from the dug-out and discussed it, but don't know what the rule stipulates," Smith said. The umpires and match referee will discuss that, whether it's in the spirit of the game. It's a tough one. Bowlers are trying to find different angles to get an edge. It needs clarifying."

Jacques Kallis also said it was better to "leave it up to the guys in charge to sort it out". "We haven't been told it's wrong but until there's clarity who knows?" England's next game is against India at Lord's on Sunday. Keep a close eye on Broad's run-up if you missed it today.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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