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55 Years After First Obstructing The Field Incident, Inzamam Ul Haq Was Still Confused About The Law Despite Two Dismissals Within 10 Weeks

Rishikesh Sharma

55 Years After First Obstructing The Field Incident, Inzamam Ul Haq Was Still Confused About The Law Despite Two Dismissals Within 10 Weeks

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq was part of quite a lot of bizarre dismissals during the course of an international career spanning over 15 years. An adept batters especially in crunch situations, Haq was often let down by his own running between the wickets. Been run out as many as 38 times in ODIs, it is the joint-highest along with another former Pakistan captain in Wasim Akram. To make matters worse, he even fell on the stumps after losing his balance while playing a sweep shot once.

Apart from all the run-outs, what also grabbed numerous headlines with respect to Haq was his obstructing the field dismissal against India in 2006. With this happening after a similar sort of an incident (technically a run-out) involving England pacer Steve Harmison, Haq found it difficult to entirely fathom the law around obstructing the field.

Inzamam Ul Haq Was Confused About Cricketing Law After Two Dismissals Within 10 Weeks

During England’s tour of Pakistan in 2005, Haq was dismissed in one of the most unique ways possible. Haq, who scored a brilliant century in the first innings of the second Test in Faisalabad, was batting comfortably at an individual score of 109 when the untoward incident took place.

On the very first delivery of the over, Haq hit the ball back towards Harmison, who didn’t think twice before throwing it towards the stumps at the striker’s end. Haq, who was inside the crease, lifted his back foot in order to not touch the ball. With his foot in the air when the ball hit the stumps, the right-handed batter was run-out according to the laws of cricket.

Just around 10 weeks later, Pakistan were hosting India in the first ODI in Peshawar. It was yet another moment when Haq’s dismissal was discussed among the global cricketing fraternity. On the second ball of the 44th over bowled by pacer S Sreesanth, Haq steered the delivery towards Suresh Raina at mid-off.

Since the batter was way out of his crease, Raina threw the ball towards him. However, this time, instead of getting away from the ball, Haq decided to make contact with it via his bat. Just as the Indian team appealed against him, umpire Simon Taufel declared Haq out.

Speaking to former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja during the post-match presentation ceremony, Haq gave one of the most hilarious responses regarding his dismissal.

“I can’t understand the rule because in Faisalabad, we left the ball and I am out and now, stop the ball is am out. I don’t know what the exact rule.”

It is worth of a mention that Haq had become the second Pakistani cricketer after Raja to have been asked to walk back to the pavilion post such a dismissal. Livid with the same, he considered Indian fielders’ appeal to be against the spirit of the game. Later in 2013, Pakistan’s duo of former captain Mohammad Hafeez and pacer Anwar Ali were also dismissed obstructing the field at the highest level.

First Obstructing The Field Dismissal Had Happened In 1951

For those who don’t know, the first case of obstructing the field in cricket happened way back in 1951 during the fifth Test between England and South Africa at The Oval. In the second innings of the match, England’s opener Leonard Hutton was batting in a 163-run chase without much discomfort.

South African spinner Athol Rowan was bowling against Hutton when one of his deliveries hit Hutton’s glove and went past him. He had no idea where the ball was going and he tried to flick the ball. The ball neither hit the wickets nor did it reach keeper Russell Endean.

Hence, the South African fielders appealed as it denied Endean to attempt a catch. Umpire Dai Davies had no hesitation in sending Hutton back to the pavilion. With this incident, Hutton registered his name in the history books.

About the author

Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma


An engineering graduate and an ardent sports fan, Rishikesh Sharma is covering cricket for three years now after not making peace with a corporate life and has written more than 5000 articles. While Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the sport, Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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