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.
Runs from a catch
“If a ball is hit high in the air, both batsmen run and make their ground before the catch is taken, is a run scored?"
If a catch is successfully taken, NO runs are scored by the batsmen even though they have had time to complete one or more. However, any penalty runs awarded by the umpires to either side will be added to the score. It is important that the umpires note the positions of the running batsmen so that the new batsman is directed to the correct end. In the question posed, the non-striker will stay where he finishes and the new batsmen will occupy the other end.
If the batsmen had not crossed, the non-striker would be returned to his original end.
Law 32.5 Caught (Open Learning Manual Page 99)
Was the ball delivered properly?
"In a match the ball slipped on delivery and landed, rolled and stopped almost at point. The batsman charged at it and hit it through the point fielder for four. We, the fielding side claimed to the umpire that the ball was dead, or a no ball. He signalled 4. Which is correct?"
There is no definitive answer to this question for two reasons. Firstly the information is incomplete and secondly there are decisions to be made that can be made only by the umpire on the field of play at the time of the incident.
The umpire must first decide whether he considers the ball to have been properly delivered. It is not uncommon for the ball to slip from a bowlers hand, especially if it there is some wetness around. Often such a ball goes quite near to where it was intended it should go and no-one would suggest that it should not count as a delivery, even though it may be adjudged to be a Wide. Some deliveries slip so far from the norm that the umpire may well decide it has not been properly delivered. In which case he will call and signal Dead ball. Note, however, that this decision can be made only by the umpire on the day with all the facts before him.
If the umpire considers the ball to have been delivered, he then needs to know whether it bounced more than twice before reaching the line of the popping crease and whether it rolled and/or came to rest before it reached the line of the wicket. We don’t have that information because we don’t know exactly where the fielder at point was stood in relation to the creases, nor do we know how wide he was. It would be highly undesirable as well as potentially dangerous if the striker were allowed to go anywhere on the field of play in pursuit of such a delivery. The game would become a farce and fielders could be in danger. In any of these conditions (rolling, bouncing, stopping, dangerous, farcical) the umpire would call and signal No ball followed immediately by Dead ball.
On the other hand, if the umpire believed the ball to have been properly delivered and the action of the striker was not bringing the game into disrepute nor creating a dangerous situation, he could decide to allow the runs to be scored. These difficult decisions are his and his alone to make. No-one said umpiring was easy!
Law 23.3 Dead ball (Open Learning Manual Page 73)
Law 24.6 No ball (Open Learning Manual Page 76)
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