A controversial stumping incident has marred this week’s County Championship match between Hampshire and Leicestershire in England.
Hampshire registered a mammoth first innings total of 5/612 before declaring, with captain James Vince smacking 231 in an explosive knock at Leicester’s Grace Road.
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Leicestershire was rolled for just 202 in response, so Vince elected to enforce the follow-on.
The hosts cautiously made their way to 1/59 in the second innings with Hassan Azad and Harry Dearden at the crease.
In the 25th over, spinner Liam Dawson beat the outside edge of Azad’s bat with a well-flighted delivery, and wicketkeeper Lewis McManus dislodged the bails.
The square leg umpire gave Azad out stumped, and Hampshire celebrated their second breakthrough.
However, replays showed McManus had the ball in his right hand while removing the bails with his left glove.
Law 220.127.116.11 states: “The wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps … by a fielder with his/her hand or arm, providing that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used.”
Although the wicket should not have been awarded, McManus seemingly made no attempt to withdraw his appeal or notify the umpires of his error.
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Several cricket pundits criticised McManus for his actions on social media, some accusing the 26-year-old of cheating, however many fans argued the umpires were equally responsible for the incorrect decision.
“We have expressed our very strong views on this shocking incident to the match referee, and we trust that an extremely strong stance will be taken to keep the integrity of our game,” Nixon told Wisden.com.
According to the report, Hampshire declined to comment until a statement is made by the English and Wales Cricket Board or match referee.
McManus could potentially cop a suspension for the incident — at the 2013 Champions Trophy, West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin received a two-game ban after appealing for a catch he had blatantly grounded.
In that instance, Ramdin was found guilty of “conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.
Leicestershire was 8/279 at stumps on day three, still trailing by 131 runs.