Akhtar ‘wouldn’t call De Kock a cheat’ but run-out not in the ‘spirit of cricket’

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Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has had his say on South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s controversial actions during the run-out of Fakhar Zaman in the second ODI between the two countries on Sunday.

Zaman’s brilliant knock of 193 kept Pakistan in the game after being set a target of 342 at the Wanderers, but it came to an end on the first ball of the last over thanks to Aiden Markram’s direct hit from the boundary.

With Zaman out, the visitors lost by 17 runs, but De Kock’s actions has been a topic of discussion in the cricket world since then.

As the throw was coming in, De Kock appeared to gesture that it might be going to the non-striker’s end, and Zaman appeared to slow down, but ultimately Markram’s delivery from long-off clattered into the stumps at the keeper’s end and found the batsman short.

Not in the spirit of cricket

“What Quinton de Kock did, I wouldn’t call it cheating, but it was not in the good spirit of the game,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.

“The spirit of the game was hurt which I didn’t like. Quinton de Kock is a great kid 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 [Quinton] also made the same gesture,” he added.

The man affectionally known as Rawalpindi Express said he wanted to see a player from Pakistan become the second cricketer to smash two double tons in ODIs

“I felt bad because I wanted Fakhar to become the only Pakistani batsman to have two double centuries. 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,” said Akhtar.

After the match, Zaman said that it was his own fault for being run out and De Kock made no mistake.

Meanwhile, the MCC said it is up to the on-field umpire to decide if a fielder distracted a batsman on purpose or not.

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