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.
Keeper on the move
I was watching a game in which the bowler and the wicket-keeper were obviously very well used to playing in the same team. The ‘keeper seemed to know just when his colleague, who usually bowled medium fast, was going to slip in a slower ball, and would take a step or two towards the stumps from his usual wicket-keeping position. On one occasion, though, the bowler was obviously going to bowl a very much slower ball. While he was running in to bowl, the ‘keeper ran right up to the stumps, whereupon the umpire at square leg called Dead ball. Why?”
Because the striker is entitled to know where the fielders are stationed before the ball comes into play. A step or two forward by the wicket-keeper is deemed permissible, but such ‘significant movement’ as you describe is considered unfair.
Law 40.4 The wicket-keeper (Open Learning Manual Page 121)
Our opening bat was having a torrid time against a young quick bowler who was spraying them around all over the place. One delivery was a very fast ball which reared up just short of a length. Our opener tried to avoid it, but the ball struck him on the shoulder, and disappeared over the boundary. The umpire signalled four Leg-byes, but I thought you could only be awarded a leg-bye if you had tried to hit the ball? “
If the batsman had not attempted to play the ball, but simply allowed it to hit him, then Leg-byes should not be given.
But if, as here, he was hit by the ball while taking evasive action to avoid being struck by it, then Leg-byes can be awarded .
Law 26 Bye and leg bye (Open Learning Manual Page 66)
Want more tips on how to umpire? Get instant access to The Umpiring Survival Guide on PitchVision Academy. Now with a free bonus 91 page quizbook.