Umpires Corner: Disputed run outs and is the wicket broken? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Umpires Corner: Disputed run outs and is the wicket broken?

This edition of Umpires Corner 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.

Is the wicket broken?


"I was watching my brother’s side play a semi final last week and the best batsman for the opposition was given out, Run out. The batsman was annoyed that he was Run out but he noticed the bails landed back on the stumps but the umpire said it was out because the bail did dislodge. Just wanting to know if the umpire was correct? Should he have been given out?"


The wicket is put down' is how the Laws describe what most non-cricketers would call the wicket 'being broken'. The wicket is down when a minimum of one bail has been completely removed from its usual position on top of the stumps.

The important word is completely. Suppose the bowler bowls a ball that hits the stumps, causing the bail to jump in the air and come back to rest in its normal position. Even though it was removed just for an instant, that removal was not permanently completed, since the bail ended up back where it started, so the striker would be not out.

The bail might be disturbed and come to rest askew the top of the stumps, or perched precariously on just one of them. Again, though it was certainly not in its usual position, it was not completely removed from the top of the stumps and the batsman would be not out.

However, if the bail slipped down and lodged between two stumps, the batsman would be given out, on appeal, because the bail had been completely removed from the top of the stumps.

Law 28 Wicket is down (Open Learning Manual Page 88)

Disputed run outs

The following incident occurred during an Oxfordshire Cricket Association Cup Final in 2007.

The striker, who was injured, was batting with a runner and was on strike. On receiving a fair delivery, the striker hit the ball into outfield but did not leave his ground.

The non-striker, who was 95 not out, started to run and the runner set off towards the bowler's end. A fielder gathered the ball and threw it to the bowler's end where the wicket was correctly put down. The runner and the non-striker had not crossed when the wicket was put down at the bowler's end.

On appeal, the non-striker was given out Run out, which was the correct decision as he was nearest to the bowler's wicket at the instant it was put down.

The batting side disputed the decision and left the field, insisting that the runner was out, Run out because he had left his ground.

The umpires stood firm about their original correct decision and the match continued after a 15 minute delay.

Law 2.8 Substitutes and runners (Open Learning Manual Page 5)

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

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Imagine the following situation:

The batsman strikes the ball and attempts a run. A fielder fields the balls, throws it towards the stumps and successfully puts down the wicket, although the batsman has already completed the run. Now the batsman go for the second run (overthrows). What does the fielding side need to do to run the batsman out if:

(i) The first throw had only dislodged one bail? Can they run the batsman out by dislodging the other bail, either with a direct hit or otherwise?
(ii) The first throw had dislodged both bails, leaving one or more stumps in place? I believe the fielder has to uproot the stump with the ball in hand.
(iii)The first throw had completely uprooted all three stumps? Does the fielding side need to reset the stump before uprooting it with the ball in hand?