Cricket world divided over Kane Williamson’s ‘blatant bit of cheating’ against England

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is regarded as one of cricket’s nice guys – which is why a controversial moment in the Black Caps’ T20 World Cup clash against England has caused such a stir.

Williamson dove full length to appear to have taken a stunning catch to remove opposite skipper Jos Buttler for just 8 early in England’s innings.

However, the third umpire would quickly confirm the star Kiwi had in fact fluffed it, with the ball bobbling out and hitting the ground before he clutched it to his chest.

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So obvious was the not out that Williamson quickly apologised to Buttler, who had already walked to the edge of the boundary in expectation of the dismissal.

Buttler would go on to pile up 73 runs off just 47 balls to steer England to a hefty 6/179, but that didn’t stop fans from teeing off at Williamson on social media.

Accused of ‘cheating’, some suggested Williamson had only escaped scrutiny at the time from the official World Cup commentators due to his reputation as a champion of sportsmanship.

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Earlier in the tournament, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin had courted controversy in similar circumstances, when he claimed a catch to dismiss Pakistan’s Shan Masood, only for replays to show the ball had bounced.

Some fans were quick to point out that Ashwin, who has long been a focal point of controversy in the sport, had quickly been slammed for the act, accusing the cricket world of holding double standards.

Others, though, suggested Williamson would have received even more criticism had he been Australian.

Others, though, suggested that Williamson’s immediate reaction after the ‘catch’, suggesting to the umpires he wasn’t sure whether it was clean, were enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Interestingly, due to a quirk in the rules, England were denied a run despite the catch being dropped, as the ball became dead when the on-field call of out was given.

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