The West Indies under-19 team are copping it from all sides after using a technicality to dismiss a South African batsman at the World Cup game in Mt Maunganui.
Former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, who had a 15-year test career, described the Windies junior team as "disgusting". Former Australian captain Lisa Sthalekar reckoned: "I can't believe what I am seeing."
Cricket greats Faf Du Plessis and Mitchell Johnson had a Twitter duel over the issue. South African Du Plessis described the dismissal as an "absolute joke" while Aussie quick Johnson said the law was the law.
ESPN's acclaimed CricInfo website stated that the "West Indies have once again ignited the spirit-of-cricket debate at the under-19 World Cup" after their captain/wicketkeeper Emmanuel Stewart appealed when South African opener Jiveshan Pillay picked up a stationary ball near the stumps to hand it to a fielder.
Pillay touched the still ball with his bat, then threw it to Stewart who talked to the on-field umpires. Pillay was given out for obstructing the field.
The third umpire had ruled in the West Indies' favour in accordance with the law which states: "Either batsman is out obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder."
In 2016, the Windies under-19s were at the centre of controversy for using the mankad — when the bowler holds back a delivery to run out the non-striker — to win a quarter-final game against Zimbabwe. The mankad rule has since been simplified and thus further confirmed as a legitimate dismissal of non-strikers who try to leave their station early.
Leading West Indies commentator Ian Bishop, the former fast bowler, defended the juniors on that occasion, but he had far less sympathy this time.
"This is an unfortunate issue," Bishop told Fox Sports.
"The batsman isn't trying to gain an advantage. He is not trying to being unfair. The umpires have done what they need to do. The ball has stopped. It's not threatening the stumps. I don't really necessarily feel as if that's a good law. It could take a re-look.
"I would have to have a deeper look at myself if I was the fielding captain. Can I use some discretion here for the sake of the game and whatever the spirit of the game means? I wouldn't have gone that way."