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Sri Lanka v England

Bat, ground, glove: Mickey Arthur fumes after strange Joe Root reprieve

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Joe Root was reprieved in strange circumstances shortly after reaching his century in the first England Test against Sri Lanka, despite the ball hitting his glove and being caught by the fielder without bouncing in between.

This was because he had previously hit the ball into the ground, with the ball taking his glove only after rebounding off the turf.

ICC Playing Regulation states that a fielder can catch the ball after a batsman has hit the ball twice “only if it has not been grounded since it was first struck”. Root could not be given out hit the ball twice since his second contact with the ball wasn’t wilful.

The incident occurred on the second ball of the 63rd over of England’s reply to Sri Lanka’s 135 all out. England were 211-2 at the time, with Root 102 not out.

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur was seemingly incensed by the decision, gesturing with his hands to suggest that Root gloving the ball should have come into the equation. “Mickey Arthur is marching into the third umpire’s room to ask the question,” said Michael Atherton on Sky Sports Cricket.

“Mickey Arthur is not happy,” added Rob Key. “The third umpire needs to get his law book out, Mickey Arthur is coming for him.”

Thankfully for the third umpire, the rule book is unequivocally in his favour on this occasion.

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