Not cheating but not in spirit of the game either: Shoaib Akhtar on Fakhar Zaman run-out controversy

Tags: Pakistan tour of South Africa, 2021, South Africa vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI at Johannesburg, Apr 04, 2021, South Africa, Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman, Quinton de Kock, Shoaib Akhtar

Published on: Apr 06, 2021

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Reacting to Fakhar Zaman’s controversial run-out during Pakistan’s second ODI against South Africa, former pacer Shoaib Akhtar said that Quinton de Kock did not cheat. He, however, added that the wicketkeeper-batsman’s ‘faking’ act was not in the spirit of the game.

Zaman’s sensational innings of 193 ended when he was run out on the first ball off the final over of the match. Aiden Markram scored a direct hit from long-off that caught Zaman short of his crease. Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock, however, pointed towards the bowler’s end as if to suggest the throw was going there. Seeming to relax, Zaman slowed down a bit and was caught short of his crease. Pakistan, chasing 342, lost the match by 17 runs.

"What Quinton de Kock did, I wouldn't call it cheating, but it was not in the good spirit of the game," Akhtar said in his YouTube channel.

"The spirit of the game was hurt which I didn't like. Quinton de Kock is a great kid and he shouldn't do it deliberately. Fakhar thought that when the throw was made, it would come to the non-striker's end and he [Quinton] also made the same gesture," he added.

Akhtar also felt that penalty runs should have been given to Pakistan after de Kock’s act. He further said in the video, "I felt bad because I wanted Fakhar to become the only Pakistani batsman to have two double centuries. If those penalty runs were given to Pakistan, they would have won the game easily. But I was disappointed that the decision wasn't made then and there. There was no awareness of the game.”

Reacting to the controversy, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) explained through tweets that the umpires have the right to decide whether or not a fielder has deceived or distracted a batsman. Commendably, Zaman did not blame de Kock for his dismissal, and stated that he himself should have been more aware to the situation.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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