Really one for the books — as unique as a man with no balls at all
Abdur Rehman, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, was barred from bowling in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh before he had delivered a legal ball. Rehman was brought on in the 11th over and delivered three consecutive full tosses above the waist, forcing umpire Johan Cloete to take him off. Rehman finished with figures of 0-0-8-0.
According to the ICC’s playing conditions for ODIs, a bowler will be banned from the attack if he delivers more than one full toss above the waist.
Rehman’s first delivery to Imrul Kayes slipped out of his hand, ending up high and wide outside off stump, and umpire Cloete called it a no-ball. His second delivery was straighter and chest high. Kayes pulled off the front foot but was caught at deep midwicket. The on-field umpires asked Kayes to wait and replays confirmed it was a second no-ball.
Umpire Cloete had a word with Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and, showing leniency, let Rehman continue. He immediately delivered a third high full toss, which Anamul Haque pulled to the midwicket boundary. Umpire Cloete called Misbah over and told him Rehman could not continue, after which Fawad Alam completed the over.
Rehman had been brought in for this game as a replacement for Junaid Khan, who was rested.
The MCC’s Laws make a distinction between dangerous and unfair bowling from a fast bowler and a spinner, with regard to full tosses. While fast bowlers are not permitted to bowl full tosses above waist height, the law is more lenient for a spinner, because of the less dangerous pace, and only deliveries above the shoulder are deemed dangerous and unfair.
“A slow delivery which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker,” according to Law 42.6.b.
The ICC’s playing conditions for ODIs, however, supersede the MCC’s Laws for international cricket and according to them fast bowlers and spinners are treated the same. A bowler is warned after his first waist-high full toss, and barred from bowling if he bowls a second.
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