GIF: How not to play cricket - outrageous variation by Andre Russell!
It’s a weird world, IPL, with something new on offer almost every other day! Today, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell came up with an outrageous move to fool the batsman.
Halfway through his run-up, he appeared to slow down and stop his run to the crease, but completed his action at the last moment to deliver the ball. Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Watson, who was facing him, didn’t offer a shot, thinking Russell was not going to complete the run-up! Watch:
Here’s the view from another angle. It’s clear that Russell wanted Watson to believe that it’s a dead ball:
Watson appeared furious with the move and complained to the umpires. From what appeared on the camera, umpire Nigel Llong told Watson that he didn’t have eyes on the back of his head and couldn’t see what Russell was up to. Even the square leg umpire told Nigel that he wasn’t looking at the bowler’s run-up.
It was counted as a legal delivery, a dot.
But surely, this doesn’t look to be the end of the controversy. What would have happened had the ball crashed onto Watson’s stumps or if it was the last ball of the match, with a couple of runs required for victory? In a format where every single run counts, fairplay aside, how legal were Russell’s actions after all?