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News

Bangladesh accuse Kohli of 'fake fielding' during tense India victory

Team says the incident was brought to the umpire's notice, but Marais Erasmus said he did not see it

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
02-Nov-2022
Following Bangladesh's five-run loss to India on Wednesday, Nurul Hasan has claimed that the on-field umpires had missed an incident of "fake fielding" from Virat Kohli, which could have resulted in five potentially crucial penalty runs for Bangladesh.
The incident in question took place in the seventh over of Bangladesh's chase at Adelaide Oval, when Litton Das played the ball towards the deep off-side field off Axar Patel. As Arshdeep Singh sent in the throw, Kohli - stood at point - feigned a shy as the ball was going past him. At the time, it went unnoticed in the field as the on-field umpires, Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown, didn't take action*.
Nurul mentioned the incident while talking to reporters after the game.
"We all saw that it was a wet ground," Nurul said. "Eventually, when we talk about these things, there was also a fake throw. It could have been a five-run penalty. That also could have gone our way, but unfortunately, even that didn't materialise."
The day after the game, BCB cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus said it had been brought to the umpires' attention. "The fake throw was brought to the umpire's notice but he said he didn't see it," Yunus said. "That's why it wasn't taken to review. Shakib spoke extensively to Erasmus, during and after the match."
Cricket's Law 41.5, pertaining to unfair play, prohibits the "deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of [the] batter", and if an incident is deemed to be a breach, the umpire can declare that particular delivery as dead ball, and award the batting side five runs.
The replay could be interpreted as an attempt at deception from Kohli, given that Arshdeep's throw from the deep passed by his right hand at the same moment that he motioned a relay throw. ESPNcricinfo understands that the ruling, which needs to be made by the umpires in real time, is about the attempt to deceive the batters, rather than them actually being deceived.
It was one of three incidents that put umpiring in the spotlight during India's narrow victory over Bangladesh. The first flashpoint came in the 16th over of the India innings, when Kohli, believing Hasan Mahmud had bowled two bouncers in his over, signalled a no-ball towards umpire Erasmus after top-edging a pull towards square leg.
Erasmus called it a no-ball and then found himself standing between Kohli and Shakib Al Hasan, who had made his way from the covers. A conversation ensued for about 90 seconds before the two players hugged each other and walked away.
The second incident came when the umpires approached Shakib, near the dugout, about play resuming following a rain break at the end of the seventh over, at which point Bangladesh, on 66 for no loss, were 17 runs ahead on DLS.
Shakib first knelt down by the boundary's edge to get a sample of the wet outfield, before continuing to talk with the match officials. Rohit Sharma, his opposite number, joined in the discussion, but Shakib's animated gestures suggested that he was not satisfied with the conditions.
"Shakib told him [the umpires] repeatedly that the ground can get dry if they take a bit more time. Start when the ground is dry," Yunus said. "But the umpire's decision is final. There was no room for argument. You have to decide if you want to play or not."
Later, in the post-match press conference, Shakib didn't elaborate on the matter.
* The article was edited to reflect the correct sequence of events at 4.20am GMT on November 3, 2022.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84