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11 December 2023

Pakistan bowler's dubious catch sparks debate


Pakistan bowler Hasan Ali was at the centre of controversy after he claimed a catch despite apparently dropping the ball in their opening tour match against Kent.

The tourists comfortably beat the county side by 100 runs after amassing 358 for seven in their 50 overs on Saturday.

Kent were 176-3 in reply in the 30th over when Alex Blake, on 89, skied a return catch to Ali, who was bowling.

Video footage emerged on Monday that showed the seamer appeared to floor the catch.

But Ali continued his celebration as the ball lay on the ground and the batsman was not given a reprieve by the umpire.

The laws of cricket state that a catch is completed only when "a fielder obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement".

The image of Pakistani cricket was damaged by a spot-fixing controversy that blighted their England tour in 2010, with three players handed bans from the game.

Pakistan announced on Monday that veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has returned home to deal with a personal issue but is expected to rejoin the team in 10 days' time.

"The PCB will not be making any further comments and fully expects all concerned to respect Shoaib's privacy," the Pakistan cricket Board said in a statement.

Pakistan are playing one Twenty20 match and five one-day internationals against England before the start of the World Cup in late May.