CENTURION: Former South African captain Shaun Pollock on Wednesday said he believed South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock was guilty of deception in the controversial run-out of Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman during the second One-day International in Johannesburg last Sunday.

But Pollock said he believed de Kock was not aware of a law which outlaws wilful attempts to ‘distract, deceive or obstruct’ a batsman.

Speaking in his role as a commentator for SuperSport television during the build-up to Wednesday’s third and final match in Centurion, Pollock said he believed the incident should have been sent to the third umpire for a ruling.

It happened off the first ball of the final over, which started with Pakistan needing 31 to win. Fakhar hit the ball to long-off and was run-out when he slowed down before completing a second run, with de Kock seemingly indicating that a throw from Aiden Markram should be aimed at the bowler’s end.

Fakhar was out for 193. If the umpires had decided that there was deliberate deception, they could have awarded five penalty runs to Pakistan, which would have kept the touring team in with a chance of winning, with Fakhar remaining on strike.

“When you look at the incident and analyse it, it’s the action of putting the hand up, you can see the distraction for the batsman and the fact that he laughed afterwards,” said Pollock.

“I’m not saying that if he did that he knew it was wrong. I don’t think a lot of the players know about this rule,” said Pollock, who was on the MCC committee which brought in the rule to prevent the practice of fielders pretending they had stopped the ball in order to dissuade batsmen from taking second runs.

“Looking at it, it didn’t feel right and I think it was definitely done on purpose to try and deceive,” said Pollock. “If you slow it down, it looks as though he was trying something [but] I don’t think he was trying to cheat.”

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja said he believed it was a borderline case.

“There was no conclusive evidence that he was involved in serious mischief,” Ramiz said.

Ramiz joked that he believed deception was ‘part of a wicket-keeper’s DNA’.

He recalled an incident in a One-day International against India in 1986 when Indian wicket-keeper Sadanand Viswanath “tried to make believe he had missed the ball and I was run out”.

Ramiz said the ultimate responsibility lay with the batsman. “The onus was on Fakhar to make his ground.”

“You feel like a fool,” he said of the Pune incident. “Not only the Indian fielders were laughing at me, so was Javed Miandad at the non-striker’s end.”

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021

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