Explained: The recent law change that stopped Sikandar Raza getting a wide, despite the ball passing behind his legs
Sikandar Raza was denied a wide at the death during the Punjab Kings-Delhi Capitals match in IPL 2023 today (May 13), with a new law introduced by the MCC in October 2022 coming into play.
In the final over of the innings, Raza reviewed after a Khaleel Ahmed yorker passed by his legs and passed by the leg-stump. In the past, the norm was that any ball that passed to the leg-side of the batter would be a wide, unless it was in line with the stumps. However, no wide was awarded by the TV umpire, with a late movement from Raza, shifting his front foot inside the line of the ball, proving key.
This brought a recent MCC law change into play. Coming into effect in October 2022, the new Law 22.1 states that an umpire will deem a delivery wide if “the ball passes wide of where the striker is standing or has stood at any point after the ball came into play for that delivery, and which also would have passed wide of the striker standing in a normal batting position.”
The MCC published the following explainer: “In the modern game, batters are, more than ever, moving laterally around the crease before the ball is bowled.
“It was felt unfair that a delivery might be called ‘Wide’ if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride. Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so that a Wide will apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position.”
So since the ball would have hit Raza’s leg had he not moved, the delivery was rightly not called a wide.
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