Labuschagne penalised under new 'fake fielding' rule


Queensland 6 for 282 (Renshaw 67, Labuschagne 61, Steketee 3-48) beat Cricket Australia XI 7 for 279 (Bryant 60, Pengelley 53) by 4 wickets

Marnus Labuschagne helped steer Queensland to a four-wicket win, but also became the first fielder penalised under cricket’s new rule against “fake fielding”.

The Cricket Australia XI received five penalty runs after Param Uppal drove a ball towards mid-off, where Labuschagne dived and missed the ball, but faked a throw that led to Uppal initially turning back from the run he had started. However, once Uppal realised the ball had passed Labuschagne, he completed the run.

The MCC’s new Law 41.5 states that: “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”. The umpires have the discretion to award five penalty runs if they determine that such deception is wilful.

In a paper summarising the Law changes, the MCC stated specifically that mock fielding, “where a fielder feigns to field the ball and/or feigns to throw a non-existent ball in an attempt to prevent the batsmen running”, was regarded as unfair and was a target of this new Law. Although the MCC’s revised Laws come into effect from October 1, the JLT Cup’s playing conditions reflect the upcoming changes.

The penalty runs helped the Cricket Australia XI to 7 for 279 in the match at Allan Border Field in Brisbane – Max Bryant top-scored with 60 and Ben Pengelley contributed 53. However, the CA XI were unable to complete their second consecutive victory, as Queensland reached their target with nine balls remaining.

Labuschagne, who was named Player of the Tournament in last year’s one-day domestic competition, made 61 from 62 balls in the successful chase. Matt Renshaw top-scored with 67, Joe Burns made 49 and Ben Cutting struck a brisk 39 from 25 balls towards the end of the chase.

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