Matthew Wade was at the centre of a brief moment of controversy late on in the first Australia-England T20I at Perth.
Coming in to bat at the start of the 16th over, Australia required 51 from the final 30 balls to take the series opener against a strong England team that included Ben Stokes, who was making his first T20I appearance since March 2021.
Off the third ball of the 17th over, Wade was struck on the helmet by a sharp Mark Wood bouncer via a deflection off his outside edge. As the ball looped up into the air, Wood and Jos Buttler sprinted towards the ball but neither could get there before it hit the ground.
Wade initially left his crease in search of a possible quick single. On returning, he blocked Wood’s path to the ball with his left arm. After some discussion between the players and umpires, Wade was allowed to resume his innings.
Pundits were united in expressing their bemusement around the decision.
If that isn’t obstructing the field what is?
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) October 9, 2022
Got to be out.
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) October 9, 2022
Looks like Matthew Wade got away with one there….
— Paul Newman (@Paul_NewmanDM) October 9, 2022
After the game, Buttler confirmed that he did not appeal to the umpires: “I wasn’t sure what happened. They asked if I wanted to appeal, and I thought, ‘We’re here for a long time in Australia. It would be a risky one to go for so early in the trip.’”
Under Law 31.1, umpires cannot give batters out without an appeal. The Law states: “Neither umpire shall give a batter out, even though he/she may be out under the Laws, unless appealed to by a fielder. This shall not debar a batter who is out under any of the Laws from leaving the wicket without an appeal having been made.”