In a strange turn of events, New South Wales cricketer Daniel Hughes had his out decision reversed after an unusual mistake by Tasmania. The incident occurred in the first over of the Blues' chase against Tasmania in the 2023 Marsh One-Day cup.
Towel distraction leads to reversal
As Tasmania's Riley Meredith was about to deliver the ball, a white towel fell from his trousers just outside off stump. This distracted Hughes, who backed away from the fast ball and nicked it behind into the hands of the wicketkeeper. However, Hughes protested to the umpire, pointing out the distracting object.
Cricket laws favor distracted batters
After a short deliberation, the umpires ruled in favor of Hughes based on cricket law. The law states that if a batter is distracted during a run-up, the umpire must call a dead ball. This applies to any noise, movement, or other distractions, regardless of their source.
A similar incident in international cricket
This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. A similar case happened in a 2022 match between Ireland and New Zealand, where Irish batter Simi Singh was distracted by a fallen towel during a delivery from Blair Tickner.
New South Wales bounces back
Despite the strange start to his innings, Hughes remained unfazed and went on to deliver a strong performance. The team eventually secured a six-wicket win over Tasmania, which could signify a positive turn for the Blues. Last summer, they only won two out of seven one-day games, including a poor performance where they were bowled out for just 76. Additionally, they failed to win any Shield games in the previous season and faced criticism for prioritizing youth over experience.