Thursday, December 9, 2021

FACT-CHECK: KL Rahul’s dismissal against Pakistan was legitimate!


A photo is circulating in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts that claim Indian cricketer KL Rahul was wrongly adjudged out during the historic Twenty20 World Cup cricket match on October 24 against Pakistan as the Shaheen Afridi delivery was a no-ball.


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The claim is misleading; Shaheen Shah Afridi’s delivery to dismiss Rahul was fair and within the rules. Footage from the game showed that a part of Afridi’s foot was behind the line as he landed on the ground.

“Why nobody is taking about this. This was a no ball #KLRahul,” reads a tweet from October 24.

It shows a photo from the match on October 24 in Dubai in which Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets to register their first ever win over their arch-rivals at a Twenty20 World Cup.

The post suggests that Afridi overstepped the line as he bowled the delivery that dismissed Rahul, which would mean that delivery should have been called a no-ball.

The claim was shared in similar posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and was also picked up by some Indian news outlets like Hindustan Times.

Shaheen Afridi

However, the claim is misleading.

A clip from the game shows that part of Afridi’s foot landed behind the white line, which is within cricket rules.

This footage of highlights from the match shows a reply of the dismissal, where part of Afridi’s foot can be seen as it landed behind the white line.

Shaheen Afridi

As far as the screenshots are concerned, it is natural for any fast bowler’s front foot to skid off after landing and the same happened on this occasion with Afridi.

The audio commentator while showing the replay of Afridi’s feet landing for the delivery which dismissed Rahul says: “Again absolutely fine, that is perfect”.

Below is a screenshot comparison taken at different frames showing part of Afridi’s foot behind the line as it landed (left) and Afridi’s foot after it slid onwards (right).

Shaheen Afridi Pakistan KL Rahul

An Indian fan posted a comment questioning the legitimacy of the delivery during a live text commentary here on the ESPNCricinfo website.

Shaheen Afrid

A fan questioned: “2.1 seemed to be very close to no ball… It needed relook.” To which the text commentator said: “It was fine”.

According to the laws of cricket for no-ball, rule number 21.5.2: 

“The bowler’s front foot must land with some part of the foot, whether grounded or raised – on the same side of the imaginary line joining the two middle stumps as the return crease described in 21.5.1, and – behind the popping crease.”

International Cricket Council introduced the front foot no-ball technology in the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020, which allows the TV umpire to make a decision for any overstepping by the bowlers. Earlier, this decision was made by the on-field umpire.

The TV umpire did not make any call for a no-ball after KL Rahul’s dismissal.

Related: Meme game starts after Pakistan beat India in T20 WC match


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