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World Cup: Change in Cricket Law Was Reason Behind Kettleborough Not Giving Wide

#CWC23 | The call by the umpire allowed Virat his 48th ODI century as he struck a six to reach his hundred.

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World Cup
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Virat Kohli was batting on 97 and India needed just two runs to seal a victory, while the batter needed 3 runs to notch up his 48th ODI century, during Thursday's ICC World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh in Pune.

In the 42nd over of the game, Bangladesh left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed fired the ball that went down the leg side. However, on-field umpire Richard Kettleborough did not signal for a wide which raised a few eyebrows. 

Earlier, in the 41st over, Hasan Mahmud had bowled a wide to Virat who had then needed 8 runs for his hundred. 

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When another wide seemed to have been bowled, all eyes were on the umpire who did not signal for a wide, which ignited a controversy. This call by Kettleborough allowed Virat his century as he struck a six to reach his hundred and end the match on the third delivery of the over.

Kettleborough's decision though seems not like an error in judgment rather, it was influenced by a recent modification to the Laws of Cricket which aided the batter.

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Now what do the rules say?

“If the bowler bowls a ball, not being a No ball, the umpire shall adjudge it a Wide if, according to the definition in 22.1.2, the ball passes wide of where the striker is standing and which also would have passed wide of the striker standing in a normal guard position," clause 22.1.1 in the MCC Laws of Cricket states.

“The ball will be considered as passing wide of the striker unless it is sufficiently within reach for him to be able to hit it with the bat by means of a normal cricket stroke," says Clause 22.1.2.

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However, in March 2022, MCC modified Law 22.1.

“In the modern game, batters are, more than ever, moving laterally around the crease before the ball is bowled,” MCC said in a statement.

“It was felt unfair that a delivery might be called ‘Wide’ if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride.”

“Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so that a Wide will apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position.”

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Hence, Kettleborough made a fair call in not giving it a wide since Virat Kohli covered his stumps and moved before the ball was released.

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