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Women's Cricket

‘Is that not obstruction?’ – Heather Knight impeded in bizarre, controversial run out

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Heather Knight was on the wrong end of a controversial run out in England’s eight-run defeat against India at Hove, one that changed the direction of the closely fought contest.

The incident came just as Knight and Tammy Beaumont threatened to take the game beyond India’s grasp. England started the 14th over of the run chase needing 44 from 42 with eight wickets in hand, but the feel of the game shifted dramatically in an eventful Deepti Sharma over.

Beaumont and Knight fell in consecutive deliveries, the latter in controversial circumstances. Knight was run out at the non-striker’s end after the ball cannoned off Sharma’s boot onto the stumps, with the bowler unintentionally blocking Knight’s path back to her crease. It wasn’t immediately obvious whether Knight would have made her ground if Sharma wasn’t in the way.


The decision was sent to the third umpire, Sue Redfern, who checked not only whether or not Knight had made her ground, but also the nature of the contact between Knight and Sharma.

On the Test Match Special radio coverage, 2017 World Cup winner Alex Hartley said: “So Heather Knight has just asked [the umpire], ‘Is that not obstruction?’”

On the Sky Sports Cricket feed, former England batsman Mark Butcher talked through the incident. He said: “The question is, has the bowler obstructed the batter from getting back in? It certainly wasn’t intentional, was it? In that case, Heather Knight’s out.”

Knight didn’t focus on the dismissal after the game, acknowledging Sharma’s lack of intent and instead focussing on her side’s lack of ruthlessness with the bat.

Law 41.5, concerning obstruction of batters, states: “It is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball. It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not.”

You can watch a replay of the dismissal below (UK only):

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