@Ben_Wisden 3 minute read
Leicestershire have expressed their “very strong views” to match referee Stuart Cummings after Hassan Azad was erroneously given out stumped in their County Championship clash against Hampshire.
Hampshire were well on top in the game when the incident occurred, having racked up a mammoth first-innings total and bowled Leicestershire out for 202 to allow themselves to enforce the follow-on. However, the hosts applied themselves more effectively in the second innings, with Azad grafting his way to 18 off 77 balls.
His knock was ended after he was given out stumped by Lewis McManus off the bowling of Liam Dawson. However, closer inspection of the moment in question showed that Leicestershire had significant reason to feel aggrieved, with McManus taking the ball in his right hand before removing the bails with his left.
Law 188.8.131.52 states that the wicket can be fairly put down “by a fielder with his/her hand or arm, providing that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used,” which was not the case in this instance.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 10, 2021
Response to the incident on social media was uniform in its criticism of McManus’ actions, while Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon confirmed to Wisden.com that the matter had been taken up with the officials.
“We have expressed our very strong views on this shocking incident to the match referee and we trust that an extremely strong stance will be taken to keep the integrity of our game,” Nixon said.
There is precedent for a team or player to be punished for wrongly appealing for a dismissal. In the 2013 Champions Trophy, West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin received a two-game ban for attempting to claim a catch off Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq despite grounding and picking up the ball.
He was found guilty of “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game” in that instance.
Hampshire have declined to comment until a statement is made by the ECB or match referee.
It’s the second time in successive seasons that Azad has been stumped in strange circumstances. Against Derbyshire in the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy he was given out stumped despite the keeper standing back, with Harvey Hosein noticing the opener out of his ground and hitting the stumps direct.
Leicestershire went to stumps eight wickets down and still 131 runs shy of making Hampshire bat again.