In the India versus Bangladesh match of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Wednesday, November 2, the Rohit Sharma-led squad managed to secure a five-run victory against Shakib Al Hasan and the team. The rain-hit match was played at the Adelaide Oval, Australia. 

After the match, Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batter Nurul Hasan accused Indian cricketer Virat Kohli of fake fielding. The event, according to Hasan, went unnoticed by on-field umpires. If caught, it might have resulted in five potentially important penalty runs for Bangladesh.

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The incident took place in the seventh over of the Bangladesh innings, when Litton Das played the ball toward the deep off-side field off Axar Patel. Arshdeep Singh caught the ball and threw it back into the striker’s end, restricting Das to just two runs. Kohli, who was standing at point and halfway in from Arshdeep, pretended to throw the ball at the non-striker’s end.

Nurul said “We all saw that it was wet ground. Eventually, when we talk about these things, there was also a fake throw. It could have been a five-run penalty. That also could have gone our way, but unfortunately, even that didn’t materialise.”

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What is fake fielding in cricket?

Fake fielding is defined as the “deliberate distraction, deception, or obstruction of a batsman.” According to Cricket Law 41.5, players are forbidden from “the deliberate distraction, deception, or obstruction of the batter after the striker has received the ball by using words or actions.” 

Fake fielding rules:

According to Cricket Law 41.5.2, it is for any one of the umpires to decide whether distraction, deceit, or obstruction is intentional or not.

If an incident is deemed to be a breach, the umpire can declare that particular delivery as a dead ball, and award the batting side five runs, as per Cricket Law 41.5.3.

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This rule was introduced because players were deliberately appearing to have the ball in order to deceive batters and stop them from taking additional runs.

If on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown had believed that Kohli’s action was an attempt to purposefully deceive the batter, Bangladesh would have been awarded five penalty runs. However, the decision must be made by the umpires in real-time.

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With the victory over their Asian rival, team India raised their chances of reaching the last-four stage of the competition. They now sit at the top of the table in Group B with six points. They will need a victory against Zimbabwe in their final match of the Super 12 stage on Sunday, November 6, to confirm their spot in the semi-finals.