Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladesh Men’s batter to be dismissed for obstructing the field during the second Test against New Zealand at Mirpur on Wednesday.

Mushfiqur was given out obstructing the field in the 41st over of play on Day 1 of the 2nd Test, leaving his side five down.

The experienced batter defended the ball, a rising delivery from New Zealand quick Kyle Jamieson in the fourth ball of the 41st over and instinctively extended his right hand to keep the ball away from going towards the stumps, although it was far from the wickets. Mushfiqur was confounded as to what unfolded next.

New Zealand players appealed and the on-field umpires sent the decision to the third umpire to review. The TV umpire was satisfied after watching the replays that Mushfiqur stopped the ball deliberately and was given out, as per ICC’s rule.

Mushfiqur is the first batter to be dismissed for obstructing the field in Tests since the rule update in 2017. While previously, seven batters have been given out ‘handling the ball’ in Men’s Tests history.

Since 2017, handling the ball has been included within the ambit of ‘obstructing the field’. The Laws of Cricket regarding this rule after the update reads as follows:

37.1.1 Either batter is out Obstructing the field if while the ball is in play, he/she wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.

37.1.2 The striker is out Obstructing the field if in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat. This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or a subsequent strike. The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket.

A batter is not out for obstructing the field if, according to rule 37.2 Not out Obstructing the field: A batter shall not be out Obstructing the field if the obstruction or distraction is accidental, or the obstruction is in order to avoid injury, or in the case of the striker, he/she makes a second or subsequent strike to guard his/her wicket lawfully as in Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).

With the ball still in play and Mushfiqur ‘wilfully’ pushing the ball away, he had to be sent back to the dressing room after scoring 35 off 83 balls.

Rahim was Bangladesh’s top-scorer as the hosts were bundled out for 172 inside 67 overs.

Bangladesh won the first Test in Sylhet by 150 runs.

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