Did he or didn’t he? Quinton de Kock’s gamesmanship questioned
Depending on who, or what you’re reading, Quinton de Kock is either a cheat, a cheeky “so-and-so”, or the ultimate purveyor of cricketing “s*&^housery”’ in the last 12 months.
By now the clip of De Kock waving his hand towards the bowler’s end as the heroic Fakhar Zaman was making his way back to the striker’s end on Sunday, has been viewed a million times.
Fakhar, exhausted after batting from ball one until ball 295 and scoring 193 runs in Pakistan’s run chase at the Wanderers, had looked back to see if his mate Haris Rauf would make it back to his crease only to see the stumps flashing at the striker’s end as Aiden Markram’s remarkable throw from the wide long off boundary hit them directly.
On the field, De Kock, Lungi Ngidi, Markram and Kagiso Rabada burst out laughing, as did Vernon Philander on commentary for SuperSport. “You can’t do that can you?” Philander exclaimed in between chuckles.
Turns out, you can’t. By Monday morning, Law 41.5.1, was trending on Google and for good reason. It reads that a fielder can’t deliberately distract a batsmen leading to his dismissal, describing such a move as “unfair” with the fielding side liable to a penalty of five runs.
Just 2 clarify— Tabraiz Shamsi (@shamsi90) April 5, 2021
QDK was NOT speaking 2 or pointing at the batsman,he was asking a fielder to back up at the non strikers end
Not Quinnys fault the batman turned around 2 see instead of completing the run safely which he should have done
Stop the hate n Leave QDK alone#Peace✌
Neither the on-field umpires nor match referee Andy Pycroft made any mention that what De Kock did was unfair, and according to his teammate Tabraiz Shamsi, De Kock wasn’t even making a gesture to the batsman.
“Just (to) clarify,” Shamsi tweeted on Monday. “QDK was NOT speaking (to) or pointing at the batsman, he was asking a fielder to back up at the non striker’s end.
“Not Quinnys fault the batman turned around (to) see instead of completing the run safely which he should have done.”
Fakhar, too, apportioned no blame to De Kock, when speaking to the media on Sunday evening. "The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris (Rauf) as I felt he'd started off a little late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble,” said Fakhar. “The rest is up to the match referee, I don't think it's Quinton's fault"
“To be honest it was my own fault,” he added later.