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Last Updated : Nov 09, 2018 09:01 PM IST | Source:

Shiva Singh's 360-degree delivery controversy; what do the laws state?

Shiva Singh sparked a new debate into bowling laws when his 360-degree twirl action was deemed a dead-ball by umpire Vinod Seshan.

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Representative image.
Representative image.

During an under-23 CK Nayudu match between Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, left-arm spinner Shiva Singh sparked a new debate into bowling laws when his 360-degree twirl action was deemed a dead-ball by umpire Vinod Seshan.

Singh took five steps in his run-up and then completed a 360-degree twirl before delivering the ball. However, the umpire immediately signaled a dead-ball which didn’t go down well with Shiva and his teammates.

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Shiva has claimed that he has deployed the action before in a Vijay Hazare Trophy encounter against Kerala where the umpire had no objection. So what exactly do the rules state when it comes to this unique action?

It’s important to note that the laws do not dictate what a bowler’s run-up should look like. However, what is mandatory is that under Law 21.1, the bowler has to inform the umpire about his/her mode of delivery. Which is basically if the bowler intends to bowl right or left handed, over or round the wicket. The umpire then relays the same information to the striker. In this case, this doesn’t seem to be the problem as Shiva sticks to his left arm round the wicket approach.

The issue with this particular delivery stems from Law 41.4 which states:

41.4.1 It is unfair for any fielder deliberately to attempt to distract the striker while he/she is preparing to receive or receiving a delivery.

41.4.2 If either umpire considers that any action by a fielder is such an attempt, he/she shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call.

What we must keep in mind is that a bowler is also counted as a fielder even when he/she is bowling. Also, the law states an ‘attempt’ to distract the striker regardless of whether the batsman is indeed distracted. Thus, it is the umpire’s prerogative to determine whether the action employed by a bowler is meant to distract the batsman or is a part of the bowler’s style.

In this case, the umpire Vinod Seshan seems to have adjudged that Shiva employed the technique merely as a means to distract the striker. The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), considered as the guardian of the Laws of the game, have also weighed in on this incident stating, "Unless the 360 degree twirl was part of the bowler's run-up for every ball, the umpire may need to consider whether he/she feels that the twirl was done in an attempt to distract the batsman in some way. This is particularly so if there was no apparent advantage to be gained from the twirl, unlike, for example, the bowler varying the width of the release point or the length of his/her run-up, which are entirely lawful."
First Published on Nov 9, 2018 09:01 pm
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