Dead Ball?: Indian Bowler Shiva Singh

Shiva Singh’s Bizarre Delivery Sparks Debate, MCC Clarifies

Cricket is a game of innovations where bowlers and batsmen come up with new ways to outwit each other. From ‘switch hits’ to ‘scoops’, over the years batsmen have changed the game with out-of-the-box shots but bowlers have had little scope of doing anything similar with the rules not permitting them. Recently, Uttar Pradesh’s left-arm spinner Shiva Singh, playing in a CK Nayudu Trophy match, tried to fox the batsman with his bizarre style of bowling. However, the umpire signalled for a ‘dead ball’ as the ball was making its way towards the striker. 

Shiva Singh did a full 360 degree twirl in his run-up, just before his delivery during a match between Bengal and Uttar Pradesh in Kalyani.

But to the frustration of the bowler and other Uttar Pradesh players, umpire Vinod Seshan signalled ‘dead ball’.

Shiva Singh’s unconventional delivery quickly went viral on Twitter with former India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi calling it “weird”. 

However, some fans were left scratching their heads over the exact rule and whether or not Shiva Singh’s delivery was fair or not.

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of the Laws of the game, tried to address the situation and came out with the statement regarding the issue.

“Firstly, the Laws don’t dictate what a bowler’s run-up should look like. Under Law 21.1, the bowler must state his/her mode of delivery, which seems to have been left arm round the wicket in this case, but does not state how conventional the bowler’s approach should be. 

“Law 41.4 states

41.4.1 It is unfair for any fielder deliberately to attempt to distract the striker while he/she is preparing to receive or receiving a delivery.

41.4.2 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,”

“Unless the 360 degree twirl was part of the bowler’s run-up for every ball, the umpire may need to consider whether he/she feels that the twirl was done in an attempt to distract the batsman in some way. This is particularly so if there was no apparent advantage to be gained from the twirl, unlike, for example, the bowler varying the width of the release point or the length of his/her run-up, which are entirely lawful,” the MCC added.

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