Top 10 Unusual Dismissals In ODI Cricket

image-lmuvalfmBen Stokes was adjudged out in a rather unusual way (YouTube)

Cricket is filled with nuances that can surprise even its most seasoned spectators. While the glorious cover drives, massive sixes, and toe-crushing yorkers frequently steal the limelight, it's the anomalies of the game that make it truly fascinating.

Most unusual dismissals in ODI cricket

Over the decades, One Day Internationals (ODIs) have witnessed breathtaking performances, edge-of-the-seat thrillers, and groundbreaking records. Yet, among these moments are instances of the highly uncommon and unconventional modes of dismissals that have left fans, players, and pundits scratching their heads.

Whether it's a batsman unwittingly obstructing the field or the split-second decision to handle the ball, these oddities remind us of the game's rules and scenarios. Here’s a look at the top 10 most unusual dismissals in ODI history.

1. Mohinder Amarnath - Handled the ball vs Australia (1986)

During the 2nd Final at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, Mohinder Amarnath faced a delivery that rolled perilously close to his stumps. In a split-second decision that he'd later regret, Amarnath used his hand to stop the ball. This rare mode of dismissal, "handled the ball," shocked fans and players alike, highlighting the nuances of cricket rules that even seasoned players can sometimes forget.

2. Rameez Raja - Obstructing the field vs England (1987)

At Karachi's National Stadium, Rameez Raja played a shot and ran for a single. While trying to reach the crease, he obstructed the ball with his bat. England appealed, and Raja became the first player to be given out in this manner in ODIs while he was batting on 99. This dismissal highlighted the importance of being always aware of the ball's trajectory and not interfering with its path.

3. Mohinder Amarnath - Obstructing the field vs Sri Lanka (1989)

Just a few years after his 'handled the ball' dismissal, Amarnath once again found himself at the center of controversy. Playing against Sri Lanka at Gujarat Stadium, Amarnath unintentionally came in the path of the ball while trying to complete a run. Despite his evident frustration, he became the first player to be dismissed twice through unconventional methods.

4. Daryll Cullinan - Handled the ball vs West Indies (1999)

Facing the West Indies at Kingsmead, Durban, Daryll Cullinan, in an attempt to defend his wicket, knocked the ball away with his hand. It was an instinctive reaction, but it violated the rules. West Indies immediately appealed, and Cullinan was declared out, drawing attention to this rare form of dismissal once more.

5. Inzamam ul-Haq - Obstructing the field vs India (2006)

One of Pakistan's most reputed batsmen, Inzamam-ul-Haq, faced a ball from Sreesanth at the Arbab Niaz Stadium in Peshawar. As he went for a run, he inadvertently got in the way of the throw, obstructing its path to the stumps. The Indian side appealed, leading to a tense moment before the umpire raised his finger.

6. Mohammed Hafeez - Obstructing the field vs South Africa (2013)

In Durban's Kingsmead, Hafeez hit a ball and set off for a run. While trying to reach his crease, he unintentionally deflected the ball with his bat. The South Africans appealed, leading to a video review. The replay confirmed Hafeez's obstruction, and he had to depart, creating another memorable moment in the annals of ODI cricket.

7. Anwar Ali - Obstructing the field vs South Africa (2013)

Just months after Hafeez's dismissal, another Pakistani cricketer, Anwar Ali, faced a similar situation. At St George's Park, Anwar hindered the ball's path unintentionally while running between the wickets. Upon South Africa's appeal, the umpires converged and deemed Anwar out.

8. Ben Stokes - Obstructing the field vs Australia (2015)

At Lord's, Stokes faced a delivery and instinctively tried to defend himself from a direct throw aimed at the stumps by Mitchell Starc. In the process, he ended up obstructing the ball. The Australians appealed, and after a lengthy discussion and review, Stokes was declared out, a decision that remained controversial and debated for days to come.

9. Chamu Chibhabha - Handled the ball vs Afghanistan (2015)

At the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, Chamu Chibhabha, like Amarnath and Cullinan before him, made the mistake of using his hand to deflect a ball that seemed destined to hit the stumps. Afghanistan's players appealed, leading to Chibhabha's dismissal and a moment that once again drew attention to the lesser-seen rules of cricket.

10. Danushka Gunathilaka - Obstructing the field vs West Indies (2021)

The stadium was the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, and Gunathilaka was the batsman in focus. As he retreated to his crease after considering a run, he inadvertently stepped on the ball, causing it to change direction. The West Indies team, especially Kieron Pollard, appealed fervently. The third umpire was called into action, and after reviewing the incident, deemed Gunathilaka out, adding another chapter to the book of rare cricket dismissals.