New MCC Rule That May Have Helped Virat Kohli Score His 48th ODI Ton - Explained

Virat Kohli in action for the Indian cricket team during Cricket World Cup 2023© X (formerly Twitter)

Virat Kohli slammed a brilliant century to guide the Indian cricket team to a comfortable victory over Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup 2023 on Thursday but a controversial decision by umpire Richard Kettleborough became a major talking point after the match. With Kohli batting on 97 and India needing two runs to win, Bangladesh bowler Nassum Ahmed fired a delivery towards the leg stump. Kohli shuffled a bit towards the stumps and the wicket-keeper collected it on the leg side. However, the umpire decided to not award a wide to India and instead, the delivery was judged to be a dot ball.

Kohli went on to score his 48th ODI century with a massive six just two balls after this incident.

While fans were left confused by the umpire’s decision to not award the wide despite the wicket-keeper collecting the ball on the leg side, the reason was a rule change by Marylebone Cricket Club in 2022.

“In the modern game, batters are, more than ever, moving laterally around the crease before the ball is bowled. It was felt unfair that a delivery might be called ‘Wide’ if it passes where the batter had stood as the bowler entered his/her delivery stride.”

“Therefore, Law 22.1 has been amended so that a Wide will apply to where the batter is standing, where the striker has stood at any point since the bowler began their run-up, and which would also have passed wide of the striker in a normal batting position,” the amended rule stated.

The rule was brought in to make sure that bowlers are not punished for batters moving across the stumps just when the ball is delivered. As a result, Kohli’s batting stance kept him outside the line of the leg stump and when he shuffled across, the umpire judged it to be a change of position by the batter.

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