Opinion

You have to hand it to Mushfiqur Rahim



Of all the nine ways in the game of cricket by which a batter can be dismissed, he had to get out using this one. Not quite Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa walking into Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, but Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim did beat the odds by getting himself dismissed against New Zealand in Mirpur on Wednesday by ‘obstructing the field’ – which, according to the Mosaic law of 37.1.2 of cricket, means the act of wilfully striking the ball ‘with a hand not holding the bat’. Regardless of whether the ball would have fallen on the stumps or not, he or she will be out OTF. Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Rahim’s flitting away the ball marks the second time in Test cricket that a batter has been dismissed in this manner – England’s Len Hutton being the first in 1951 against South Africa. Kyle Jamieson‘s ball to Rahim would have pottered away were it not for Rahim’s visible hand, quite the contrast to, say, Adam Smith‘s invisible one. OTF, of course, is not confined to cricket. On a larger scale, politics obstructs the field all the time – from filibustering to downright dharnas. But if Rahim had enough support to dismiss the rare dismissal, he could have spawned a new game that allows ‘handiwork’. Remember, football once allowed the extensive use of hands on the ball, until it split into soccer and rugby.



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