Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar weighed in on the controversy surrounding Fakhar Zaman’s run-out by Quinton de Kock in the second One-Day International and said that the South African wicketkeeper’s actions weren’t in the “spirit of the game”.
Zaman was sensational in the second ODI between Pakistan and South Africa on Sunday, hitting 193 to keep the visitors in the chase at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. His effort, though, wasn’t enough to stop South Africa from levelling the three-match series.
One of the key moments of the game was the left-hander’s run-out by De Kock. The keeper seemed to have tricked the Pakistan opener with his hand gesture behind the stumps and that led to the dismissal.
While Zaman himself insisted after the game that the run-out was his fault and not de Kock’s, the Marylebone Cricket Club, the custodians of the laws of the game, stated it was up to the umpires to decide whether De Kock was at fault.
Akhtar, though, believes De Kock didn’t “cheat” but he shouldn’t have done what he did.
“What Quinton de Kock did, I wouldn’t call it cheating, but it was not in the good spirit of the game,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
“The spirit of the game was hurt which I didn’t like. Quinton de Kock is a great player and he shouldn’t do it deliberately. Fakhar thought that when the throw was made, it would come to the non-striker’s end and he also made the same gesture.”
Akhtar added: “I felt bad because I wanted Fakhar to become the only Pakistani batsman to have two double hundreds. If those penalty runs were given to Pakistan, they would have won the game easily. But I was disappointed that the decision wasn’t made then and there. There was no awareness of the game.
“When the match-referee is watching everything, getting replays again and again but still, you are unable to make the decision. You make a referral for a no-ball, an edge and everything else, but why did they have a problem implementing the laws here? My biggest question is this.”
Here’s the video posted by Shoaib Akhtar: