Laws of Cricket: Helmets and runs and bowlers front landing | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Laws of Cricket: Helmets and runs and bowlers front landing

This edition of Laws of Cricket, in association with the International Institute of Cricket Umpiring and Scoring, covers some more tricky questions of the Laws.


Many times on the pitch (and after the game) we have come to discuss whether a controversial situation should be allowed or not. There are precious few players with a deep enough understanding of the laws for our arguments to be resolved, but many times it's the players who also act as umpires. Now we can consult a team of expert experienced umpires for the answers to those tricky questions.

You can submit your own questions to the umpires here.

Helmets and runs


"The batsman played at and missed a fast delivery. The ball kept low, and the wicketkeeper couldn’t take it cleanly. The ball hit a helmet on the ground behind the ‘keeper and shot off towards third man. The batsmen had started to run, when third man fielded the ball and threw down the stumps with a direct hit. The umpire gave the batsman Run out, and then awarded five Penalty runs for the ball hitting the helmet. Was this right?”


I feel sorry for this batsman. The umpire was right to award the five Penalty runs for the ball hitting the helmet, but wrong to give the batsman out! The instant it hit the helmet it automatically became a Dead ball. Anything that happened after that was irrelevant.

Law 23.1 Dead ball (Open Learning Manual Page 73)

Law 41.3 The fielder (Open Learning Manual Page 123)

Bowler’s front landing


"Our quick bowler was very annoyed to be no-balled five times during his spell. The umpire explained that he was ‘overstepping’ with his front foot. I watched the bowler very carefully, and noticed that the umpire called him even when his heel landed on the white line of the popping crease. Did the umpire get it wrong?"


No, his decisions were spot-on. The umpire must be satisfied that, in the bowler’s delivery stride, some part of his front foot, whether grounded or raised, lands behind the popping crease – not just on it - for that delivery to be considered fair. Many people confuse the crease with the crease marking – that’s the white line. The crease itself is the back edge of that white line – the edge nearest the stumps at that end.

Law 24.5 No ball (Open Learning Manual Page 76)

Remember you can submit your own umpiring and scoring questions here.






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I never knew that there was such a rule to award the batting team with runs, if the ball is hit on the helmet lying on the ground besides wicket-keeper. And if that is considered as a dead ball, is it ok cash for airline miles for the batsmen to go for running?

I think if the ball hit the Helmet on the ground it is automatically Dead and 5 penalty runs is awarded, even if the ball goes to the boundary.