Former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis pointed to De Kock’s “cheeky giggle” to suggest that his act had been deliberate.
— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) April 4, 2021
Fully convinced that this is against 41.5.1. Wonder what @ICC’s reaction would have been had this happened in a match involving big three teams.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) April 4, 2021
On Monday morning, the MCC Twitter handle posted the law related to the dismissal – about a fielder wilfully attempting to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman – but did not say if de Kock was guilty or not.
Under Law 41.5 of the MCC, about “deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of batsman”, Law 41.5.1 says: “… it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball”, and Law 41.5.2 says, “it is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not”.
In this case, the umpires did not take any action against de Kock, but if they had, Law 41.5.3 would have come into effect: “If either umpire considers that a fielder has caused or attempted to cause such a distraction, deception or obstruction, he/she shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call.”
The Law is clear, with the offence being an ATTEMPT to deceive, rather than the batsman actually being deceived.
It’s up to the umpires to decide if there was such an attempt. If so, then it’s Not out, 5 Penalty runs + the 2 they ran, and batsmen choose who faces next ball.
— Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) April 4, 2021
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said in the post-match press conference that de Kock’s act was “quite clever”, but “I don’t think he broke the rules in any kind of way”.
Zaman, meanwhile, felt it was his “own fault”, and not de Kock’s. “The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris Rauf at the other end as I felt he’d started off a little late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble,” Zaman said. “The rest is up to the match referee, but I don’t think it’s Quinton’s fault.”