The cricket world is divided over the legality of a young spinner’s controversial new delivery.
Video emerged on social media on Thursday, showing Shiva Singh bowling in an Under-23s match between Bengal and Uttar Pradesh in India.
The left-arm orthodox spinner, who was a member of India’s Under-19 World Cup team this year, does a full 360-degree pirouette before delivering the ball.
The young bowler does a full spin in the air before landing on the popping crease and bowling the ball.
The batsman handles the distraction easily enough, but the umpire deems it to be a dead-ball, leaving the bowler and his teammates up in arms.
The video has since gone viral on social media, with fans and commentators debating the legality of the ball and whether or not the umpire was correct.
“Bowler turning 360 degrees in his run-up is a sure distraction to the batsman. The umpire was right in declaring it a dead ball,” one user wrote.
However another opined: “What about switch hits, reverse sweeps and other fancy shots.. Why can’t the bowler also perform some antics as far as the delivery is bowled legally.”
A number of fans also commented on how remarkable the piece of skill is, and how they’d never seen such a delivery.
Bowler turning 360 degrees in his run-up is a sure distraction to the batsman. The umpire was right in declaring it a dead ball.
— Dinesh Bajaj (@justaname99) November 7, 2018
What about switch hits, reverse sweeps and other fancy shots.. Why can't the bowler also perform some antics as far as the delivery is bowled legally.
— KP (@KunalHasArrived) November 7, 2018
It was great delivery . When batsman can do reverse sweep , why can’t bowlers
— JP (@brahmirishi) November 7, 2018
It is fair delivery, if batsman can play reverse shot then bowler can rotate 360degree in run up, unless he is not bending his arm as per ICC code
— Ravi (@RavindraMawale) November 7, 2018
Clearly that’s unique and must be appreciated. That takes some tough practice to keep it in line after that twist and turn . If Modern day batsmen can play all kind of scoops , @ICC should allow this kind of bowling talent too.
— Binu Kumar (@v2bikum) November 8, 2018
It’s a strange action for sure, but I cannot see in what way that is illegal!
— Anthony Goodwin (@GoodersFMS) November 7, 2018
Is there any problem in action??
I don't think so. This is legal delivery
— Raman Yadav (@Hraman_yd) November 8, 2018
The bowler changed his bowling arm thus the announced bowling side is also changed without informing the umpire therefore it was a dead ball. Decision from the rules book by the umpire 🙌 deserves congratulations.
— Abhishek Mathur (@_AMathur) November 8, 2018
Whats wrong in deceiving a batsman in this case Umpire more while the bowler is in his run up.. They switch ball from left to right hand, hide the ball etc. So i dont understand whats wrong.
— Sandeep (@Sandeepkripa) November 8, 2018
Rightly called dead. Attempt to decieve the batsman by any means other than the flight and pitch of the ball, should be an invalid attempt.
— Sandeep Iyer (@Just_Sandman) November 8, 2018
I wonder where was the deceit. We had spinners with stranger run-ins… he bowled very well within the rules of the game.
— Sree Menon (@sreekmenon) November 8, 2018
A batsman is allowed to change from left to right handed and back again when they bat, but a bowler has to bowl a certain way and isn't allowed the slightest change. Bowlers use funny run ups all the time. What was wrong with that? As long as he bowled with the correct arm.
— Ian Harkin (@sportznut67) November 8, 2018
The relevant ruling appears to be in section 41 of the ICC’s official rulebook under ‘unfair play’.
Section 41.2 states:
“The umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play. If either umpire considers an action, not covered by the Laws, to be unfair he/she shall intervene without appeal and, if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball and implement the procedure as set out in 41.19. Otherwise umpires shall not interfere with the progress of play without appeal except as required to do so by the Laws.”
And under 41.4:
“It is unfair for any fielder deliberately to attempt to distract the striker while he/she is preparing to receive or receiving a delivery. 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.”
Bizarre day in cricket circles
It wasn’t the first strange occurrence in the cricket world in the last 24 hours, with England skipper Joe Root shocking purists by fielding on his knees.
Root employed the bizarre tactic during the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
With debutant spinner Jack Leach bowling, Root decided to drop down to his knees while fielding at second slip.
But rather than pop up once Leach delivered the ball, he stayed on his knees the whole time.