By:Curtis Morton

The way I see it, Kemo Paul, did not do anything wrong.

For the benefit of my readers who do not follow the glorious game of CRICKET, Kemo Paul is a young Guyanese cricketer who is currently representing the West Indies under 19 cricket team, in the ongoing under 19 world cup tournament.

In a recent match versus Zimbabwe, which was critical for either team to get into the quarter finals, Kemo Paul effected what is referred to as a MANZAD but which we know locally as a WHITE CHAPEL.

What is that all about?

The Zimbabwe team needed just three runs from the final over to win the game and as young Paul moved in to bowl that crucial over, he saw the non striking batsman already moving out of his crease, getting ready to run. Before he went into his delivery stride, he removed the bails from the stumps, with the batsman barely out of his crease and appealed to the umpire.

The two umpires conferred and confirmed with the West Indies team that they really wanted to uphold the appeal. They then confirmed with the third umpire and the replay revealed that the batsman was out of his crease when the bails were removed and duly gave him out.

Now that action by young Paul has stirred many emotions and generated many a debate.

Some refer to it as EMBARRASSING. Others stated that it was not IN THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME. Others as NOT ETHICAL and all kinds of derogatory comments have been made, all geared towards the youngster and the West Indies Cricket team in general.

What’s my take on it?

I would have done the same thing. It is in the laws of CRICKET and it is permissible! Why is there no hoopla and commotion when a batsman is skeddadling halfway down the pitch, before the bowler can fully complete his delivery stride? Is that ethical and in the spirit of the game?

Well I newa!

The only thing that I would have done differently, as I have done in local competitions, is that I would have warned the batsman first. That is also permissible but by not warning the batsman, Kemo Paul was still within his right to appeal the first time.

A lot of our local cricketers need to be educated on the issue, because many have argued with me that it is no longer in the rule book. Now they know.

My admonition to all of the batsmen who are off strike is that they should remain firmly in their creases until the ball is bowled!

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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