by: Atika Mehboob TN Sports Pakistan:
The 2023 Cricket World Cup witnessed an unusual umpiring oversight during the match between Pakistan and Netherlands in Ahmedabad, India.
In a remarkable incident, an over consisting of only five deliveries took place. When Shakeel struck the fifth ball for a boundary, umpires Adrian Holdstock and Chris Brown mistakenly believed the over was complete. Although the fielders were set for the 15th over, TV umpire Rod Tucker did not correct the oversight.
According to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) “Men’s One Day International Playing Conditions” rule 17.5.1: “If the umpire miscounts the number of valid balls, the over as counted by the umpire shall stand.”
Later in the game, another oversight occurred when Shakeel hit a delivery from Roelof van der Merwe for a boundary. On this occasion, Shakeel and Rizwan pointed out that the Netherlands had an extra fielder outside the designated fielding circle. Recognizing their mistake in time, the umpires declared it a no-ball, and the subsequent free hit was dispatched for a six.
Interestingly, rule 17.5.3 does allow the third umpire to correct on-field umpires regarding a miscounted over.
This wasn’t the only time a counting error surfaced during this World Cup. Earlier in the year, during a Pakistan-India women’s T20 World Cup clash, a seven-ball over was inadvertently allowed, with Jemimah Rodrigues capitalising on the extra delivery.
However, this hiccup did not deter Pakistan, as they clinched an 81-run triumph over the Netherlands at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Despite their batting struggles in the initial innings, Pakistan’s bowlers rebounded impressively, seizing quick wickets.
Netherlands, having won the toss, opted to field first. Pakistan’s ambition for a 300-run total was thwarted by the Dutch, who restricted them to 286. The key Pakistani batsmen, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, and Imam-ul-Haq, were dismissed early, leaving Pakistan at a precarious 38/3.
Subsequently, a crucial 120-run stand between Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan stabilised the innings. However, their partnership was interrupted by Netherlands’ Aryan Dutt, who dismissed Shakeel.
Iftikhar Ahmed’s brief stint ended at just nine runs, further hampering Pakistan’s attempt to fortify their total.
This clash marked the seventh ODI meeting between Pakistan and the Netherlands. Since their inaugural face-off in the 1996 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Pakistan has remained undefeated against the Dutch side.