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Brisbane Heat batsman's dismissal has provoked furious debate... so was the decision right?

Alex Ross has become the first Big Bash batsman to be given out obstructing the field and the decision has caused widespread debate among the cricketing community.

Ross was batting for Brisbane Heat in their clash with Hobart Hurricanes when he was forced to dive in an attempt to make his ground during Wednesday's meeting at the Gabba.

The Heat star adjusted his running line, moving towards the stumps and in front of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

The ball struck Ross, rebounding onto the wicket and dislodging the bails, leading to an appeal from the Hurricanes gloveman. Despite crossing the whitewash, third umpire ruled Ross to be out for obstructing the field. Brisbane eventually lost the game by three runs, having failed to reach the 180 they required for victory.

Cricket Australia's playing conditions for the Big Bash, with regards to the obstruction rule, read as follows:

"37.1.1 Either batter is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, and while the ball is in play, he/she wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.

"NOTE: For the avoidance of doubt if a batter, in running between the wickets, has significantly changed his/her direction without probable cause and thereby obstructed a fielder's attempt to effect a run out, the batter should, on appeal, be given out Obstructing the field. It shall not be relevant whether a run out would have occurred or not. If the change of direction involves the batter crossing the pitch, clause 41.14 shall also apply.

"37.2 Not out Obstructing the field. A batsman shall not be out Obstructing the field if obstruction or distraction is accidental, or obstruction is in order to avoid injury, or in the case of the striker, he/she makes a second or subsequent strike to guard his/her wicket lawfully as in Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once)."

Heat captain Brendon McCullum disagreed with the ruling and expressed his disappointment after the game.

"Personally, I thought it wasn't the right decision. If I get fined for that, fair play," McCullum said.

Hurricanes captain George Bailey said: "We appealed for the run out. I'm learning the rule as we speak, we saw Ross change his angle, and asked the umpire to check for obstructing the field."

Prominent cricketers on social media quickly voiced their opinions on the matter, with Australia international Glenn Maxwell among the most forthright.

Alex Ross made 27 before he was given out for obstructing the field

"Not out... end of story," Maxwell wrote on social media. "He was trying not to get hit in the head... and not interfere with the throw. You could see he was clearly protecting his body, not his wicket."

Perth Scorchers bowler Andrew Tye wrote: "Seriously! The bloke is trying to protect himself and get out the way of it, if the ball hadn’t have hit him he would have made his ground! The ball hitting him has no direct effect on the game"

But former Australia batsman Dean Jones had a different point of view.

"If he ran straight ... as the law now asks the batsman to do so... then he would have been not out," he wrote.

"What I would like to see is a change of the Obstructing Law, would the ball have hit the stumps or would have the keeper have enough time to run him out? On this occasion tonight.. The ball would have missed the stumps & the keeper had not enough time to run him out. Not out".

But what do you think? Out or not out? Have your say below?


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