Was Mohammad Nawaz run out or lbw against South Africa? And whose mistake was it that led to the ‘dead-ball’ controversy?

Yet another umpiring controversy has broken out at the T20 world cup when Pakistani batsman Mohammad Nawaz was ruled out lbw by umpire Chris Gaffaney against South Africa after he had inside-edged the ball. Did Nawaz think he was run out as in trying to scramble back to safety of the crease, he fell short by a direct hit? The controversy is over whether if he had gone for DRS, he would have been saved by the cricketing laws which state that as soon as umpire has ruled out, it becomes a dead ball. There would have been no “run out”.

However, it would only have become a dead ball had Nawaz, who surely should have known he had got a bat, had gone for the DRS. In his mind, perhaps he didn’t see the umpire’s finger go up, and thought he was run out. But then, his partner Iftiqhar Ahmed should have made him stay and review.

In the scorecard, the decision still stands as Nawaz lbw b Shamsie.

What happens had he reviewed? He won’t be run out still?

No, he wouldn’t have been run out.

Two laws make it pretty clear about it.

Law states “the ball will be deemed to be dead from the instant of the incident causing the dismissal”.

Further, the Law 20.6 notes that “once the ball is dead, no revoking of any decision can bring the ball back into play for that delivery”.

What happened?

Off the last ball of the 13th over bowled by Shamsie, Nawaz went for a sweep, inside-edged it onto his pad, and the ball rolled to short fine. Even as a few fielders appealed, Nawaz was out of his crease looking for a run before he turned back. The umpire ruled it out lbw at that instant. But before Nawaz could reach, the throw had hit the stumps.

“I don’t think he saw the umpire give him lbw,” Waqar Younis would say on A Sports. “Iftikhar was also sleeping. He should have told take DRS as the ball then becomes dead and “run out” won’t be legal,” Younis said.

What do umpires say?

A BCCI-accredited umpire told The Indian Express. “It’s not the umpire’s mistake here. In his mind, it was a lbw, and in the scorecard, it still remains a lbw dismissal. The mistake is from the batsmen. If Nawaz didn’t see the lbw decision, and thought it was a run out, the non-striker (Iftikhar) should have alerted him and asked him to take DRS.

The umpire added, “Were they aware of the rules? Had they gone for DRS, and the matter would have ended there. It would have become a dead ball, and there wouldn’t be any “run out”. But they didn’t go for the DRS – and the matter ended there.”

Why is it deemed a dead ball after umpire rules a batsman out?

To prevent two batsmen falling in the same ball. Else, in theory, for a lbw you can have the other batsman run out.

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