Sri Lankan batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was dealt in the most unusual way during the 1st ODI against the West Indies on Tuesday, after Kieron Pollard appealed for his wicket after his foot – apparently unintentionally – pushed the ball away from the bowler.
Danushka Gunathilaka was given Obstruction to the pitch. Very difficult to interpret if it was a deliberate obstruction. Seems unintentional but has been distributed in accordance with the lawspic.twitter.com/CJh3GmzvaN
– Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) March 10, 2021
In the 22nd of the Sri Lankan innings, Gunathilaka, who had just reached his half-century, took a few steps to take one, but then decided not to. When he moved back to his crease, he deflected the ball away from Pollard’s reach with the underside of his foot.
Pollard immediately appealed. The third referee was called, the soft signal being out. The reruns only showed the moment in slow motion and the decision was upheld.
As the drummer returned with a look of disbelief on his face, Sri Lanka coach Micky Arthur was seen furiously exiting the locker room and heading towards the match referee’s room.
Don’t think it was voluntary at all. I wouldn’t call but hey 🤷🏿♂️🤷🏿♂️
– Daren Sammy (@ darensammy88) March 10, 2021
– Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) March 10, 2021
Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody was among those who believed the batsman’s obstruction was anything but intentional. Even former West Indies cricketer Darren Sammy said he would not have appealed for the wicket.
Danushka Gunathilaka is in the West Indies the first Sri Lankan to be returned Obstruction of the land (Law 37).