Hampshire wicketkeeper Lewis McManus has been branded a cheater by cricket fans after a controversial incident in his side's County Championship victory against Leicestershire in England.
McManus' Hampshire won by an innings and 105 runs over the weekend, but the dismissal of Leicestershire's Hassan Azad sparked outrage and resulted in an official complaint from the losing side.
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Leicestershire lodged a complaint to English cricket authorities after a controversial stumping from McManus removed Azad in dubious circumstances.
Azad was given out stumped off Liam Dawson in a bizarre incident when McManus knocked off the bails with his left hand, despite having the ball in his right hand.
It seemed at first as if the wicketkeeper was appealing for caught behind but the square leg umpire signalled that Azad had been stumped.
Cricket laws state that the wicket can be fairly put down “by a fielder with his/her hand or arm, providing that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used”.
Replays showed that McManus didn't have the ball in the same hand he used to whip off the bails, so the dismissal should never have counted.
Rather than inform the umpire about the mistake, Hampshire allowed Azad to walk back to the pavilion, with McManus deciding not to own up to his illegal stumping.
The inexcusable act was condemned by the cricket world, with many fans labelling Hampshire wicketkeeper's a "cheat" on social media.
Wicketkeeper's actions under fire
Leicestershire were furious with the dismissal and released a post-match statement revealing they have been in contact with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to complain.
“For everyone at Leicestershire, the behaviour displayed by Hampshire was extremely disappointing and has no place in the game,” Leicestershire CEO Sean Jarvis said.
“I have written to the ECB following the completion of this fixture to express the concerns and disappointment of what happened.
“I hope we can resolve this matter quickly and move on from the incident.”
Leicestershire head coach Paul Nixon added: “We were disappointed with what happened and we’ve spoken to the match referee, it’s something we don’t want to see in our game.
“I’ve never seen it before in all my years of cricket, and we’ll wait to see how the ECB handle it.”
Hampshire captain James Vince defended McManus and insisted the incident was an accident.
“Lewis is pretty down about how it looks but from his and our point of view we weren’t aware there was an issue until a few overs later,” he said.
“We’re talking split seconds. Had we known instantly we would have called (Azad) back and knowing Lewis if he’d known exactly what he’d done he would have said something.”
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