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.
Runner was not allowed
"In a game I played in, a runner was required for a batsman who had hurt himself during the match. The opposition chose someone who had turned up as a spectator, but just happened to have his whites with him. The umpire said that this chap wasn’t allowed to do this. But surely anyone can come one as a substitute?"
Anyone can be a substitute, but a sub cannot act as a runner.
A runner has to be a member of the nominated team in other words, on the team list given to the umpires before the game starts. He has to wear similar external protective equipment to the batsman for whom he’s running, must carry a bat and, where possible, should already have batted in that innings.
Within the spirit of the game, his captain should ensure this runner is not ‘the next man in.’
Law 2 Substitutes & runners. (Open Learning Manual Page 6)
Bad light stopped play
"The game started late because the light was so poor so we had to wait until it brightened up a little. The opposition batted first and posted a reasonable score. By the time it came to our turn to bat, the light had worsened again. This didn’t bother our batsmen, since the opposition’s bowlers weren’t that good. After conferring twice, the umpires took everyone off the field, even though our batsmen wanted to carry on. Are umpires allowed to do this?"
Indeed they are. Umpires have a duty of care towards all the players, not just the batsmen. Umpires must ask themselves this question - ‘is there an obvious and foreseeable risk of injury if the game continues in these conditions?’ On this very gloomy day, their answer to that question was evidently ‘yes’.
Law 3.9 The umpires. (Open Learning Manual Page 13)
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