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Opinion divided after Carlos Brathwaite’s ‘dangerous’ throw at striker leads to five-run penalty in T20 Blast

Brathwaite throw
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Carlos Brathwaite’s rogue throw at striker Wayne Madsen led to a five-run penalty for Birmingham Bears against Derbyshire in their T20 Blast fixture on Sunday.

The incident occurred in the 13th over of Derbyshire’s innings, when Madsen defended the fourth ball of the over back to Brathwaite. The West Indies all-rounder hurled the ball back at the striker, with a throw that would have hit the stumps if not for the batter being in the way. Madsen tried to get out of the way, but the ball struck him flush on his left heel: expectedly, the striker instantly looked at the square-leg umpire, questioning the act.

The batting pair ran through for a single as Brathwaite held up a hand in apparent apology, but that turned to irritation as the umpire questioned his actions.

Madsen and Brathwaite then had an animated mid-pitch chat, before the umpires Ben Debenham and Steve O’Shaughnessy came together to discuss the situation. Subsequently, Brathwaite’s team was handed a five-run penalty.

The throw is understood to have broken law 42.3 of the MCC codebook on Player’s Conduct, specifically clause 42.3.1, relating to ‘Level 2 offences and actions by umpires’ – “throwing the ball at a player, umpire, or another person in an inappropriate and dangerous manner”.

The penalty for such an offence is as follows:

42.3.2.1 The umpire shall call Time, if necessary.

42.3.2.2 Together the umpires shall summon and inform the offending player’s captain that an offence at this Level has occurred.

42.3.2.3 The umpire shall award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing team.

42.3.2.4 The umpire shall warn the offending player’s captain that any future Level 1 offence by any member of his/her team shall result in the award of 5 Penalty runs to the opposing team.

42.3.2.5 As soon as practicable the Umpire shall call Play.

42.3.2.6 The umpires together shall report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the offending player’s team and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such further action as is considered appropriate against the captain, any other individuals concerned and, if appropriate, the team.

Madsen defended the umpire’s decision.

“The umpires deemed Carlos Brathwaite’s throw reckless and that is what it was. I was in my crease and he didn’t even look,” said Madsen. “I know it’s a competitive game but if that had hit me on the back of the head, like the umpires said, there is real trouble.”

However, opinion among fans was split over whether it was right that Brathwaite was punished.

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