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.
"We were about to play a really vital game in the league. It had been raining, on and off, all week, and it's true the ground was slippery, but we were keen to play the match, and so were the other side. The umpires inspected the pitch twice and eventually called off play, even though both captains wanted to continue. Are the umpires allowed to do this?"
They're not only allowed to, they're obliged to do this!
There is a big difference between playing conditions being just unsuitable and them being 'unreasonable' or 'dangerous'. Unreasonable is for exceptional circumstances when to play would not be sensible and it really does mean exceptional and should not be used for inclement weather. If the conditions are dangerous there will be no play.
In this case, the umpires judged that there was an obvious and foreseeable risk of someone being injured.
They had to use their duty of care to prevent this happening. Sorry, but this was done for everyone's safety!
The re-issue of the Laws in October 2010 makes it clear that the umpires have sole and complete responsibility for whether play is to take place. The captains are no longer involved and therefore play will not continue even if both captains want to play in poor conditions.
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