Pakistan Shaheens Were ‘Penalized For Ball Tampering’ in Sixth and Final ODI Against Zimbabwe Select


IN THE SIXTH and final One-Day match between Zimbabwe Select vs Pakistan Shaheens (Pakistan A) at Harare Sports Club, the Shaheens were handed a five-run penalty by the umpire for ball tampering.

pakistan shaheens penalized five runs for ball tampering against zimbabwe select
Pakistan A players during the 6th ODI at Harare Sports Club on 27 May 2023. PIC - ZimCricketv/Twitter.

In a match that the Pakistan Shaheens lost by 32 runs following the impressive and record-breaking batting displays of Craig Ervine, the visiting side were penalized—with much contestation and “controversy—for ball tampering; and Zimbabwe Select were awarded five runs.

Cricket Pakistan wrote: Despite the controversy surrounding the tampering incident, the focus of the match shifted towards the outstanding performance by Zimbabwe Select's batters.

The much-experienced umpire in that game, Iknow Chabi—who has officiated 50+ international cricket matches across all formats—uncovered the ball tampering and awarded the home side five runs.

As per this report by Wisden, “It is not yet clear how the ball was tampered or who was the culprit, but the laws of cricket state that if the umpires believe that the condition of the ball has been unfairly changed, they can offer the batters the option to ask for a replacement ball (if the fielding side are the guilty party) and irrespective of what the ball is replaced or not, they have to award five penalty runs to the opposing side.

The news report goes on to cite the cricket laws governing cases of ball tampering and the implications:

Law 41.3 of the Laws of Cricket deals with changing the conditions of the match ball. Clause states: Regardless of whether a replacement ball has been chosen to be used, the bowler’s end umpire shall award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing side.’

The just-ended ‘unofficial’ ODI series between Zimbabwe Select and Pakistan A saw the home team emerging triumphant with a 4-2 series win; a series victory that was powered by some enviable, masterclass batting and bowling displays from Zimbabwe’s bowlers.

All international cricketing attention now turns to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023—hosted by Zimbabwe—and the anticipation of exhilarating, nerve-wrecking, impassioned, and entertaining cricket action is evidently palpable not only in Zimbabwe but across the rest of the world.

The tournament, in which two teams out of ten will qualify for the 13th edition of the Cricket World Cup in India slated for October 2023, will commence on 18 June 2023, with the final scheduled for 9 July 2023. 

The Zimbabwe national cricket team will hope to replicate some of the amazing displays exhibited during the matches against the Pakistan Shaheens, as the country aims to qualify for the Cricket World Cup.

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