Cricketing topics discussed by the man in the white coat:
The opposition gave in their list of players to the umpires, lost the toss and fielded throughout our innings with only ten men – their captain said their missing player ‘might turn up later. Then they batted. When their ninth wicket fell, we all started to troop off, thinking the game was over. Suddenly, the missing eleventh man on their original team list walked out and hit the 4 runs needed to win. Is this fair?
It may have seemed somewhat unusual, but what this team did was not illegal according to the Laws of the game. There are Laws that govern when a bowler is able to bowl should he arrive late for a session of play, or what happens if a batsman is forced, or indeed chooses to retire, but no Law insists that a batsman must field before or after he bats.
Our quick bowler was furious when No-balled for sending a short ball clean over the batsman’s head, especially since he had seen a bowler in a televised One Day International do exactly the same, only for the umpire to award a Wide. This is not the first time umpires in our league have made decisions completely different from ones I’ve seen on TV. Who’s right, and what’s going on?
Both umpires were right! Sometimes there are differences between the Laws of cricket -where what you described would indeed be a No ball - and the Playing Conditions agreed for particular series or contests. The umpires know what these differences are, though it seems that commentators sometimes don’t. No wonder spectators and viewers become confused!
Call me pedantic, but can you please explain why it is that TV and radio commentators always seem to talk about a ‘turning wicket’? I thought a wicket was the stumps and bails at each end. I assume they really mean a turning pitch? I also start to blow steam out of my ears when they talk about ‘batters’, for batsmen and, worst of all, ‘slippers’ when they mean slip fielders! Do you agree?
A wicket, as you say, is three stumps and two bails. So the only way a wicket could ‘turn’ is if the stumps were to revolve in their sockets in the ground. But a pitch can’t ‘turn’ either – though there may be something about it that assists a ball pitching on it to do so. If being pedantic means outlawing horrible words like ‘batter’ or ‘slipper’, then I’m with you!
We have a new young fast bowler, who really is very quick. He may be a bit erratic sometimes, but there’s no doubting his shock value, and he’s obviously going to go on to pick up lots of wickets. He likes to bowl long uninterrupted spells, but is always instructed by the umpires to come off after a certain number of overs, even though his dad, who also plays for us, agrees to him bowling for longer. Comments, please
His dad ought to think long and hard! The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) introduced these limitations on the number of overs young fast bowlers may bowl to help prevent them breaking down as bowlers when they are older, because they were allowed to bowl too many overs before they had finished their physical development.
Needing two runs off the last ball of the game to win, the striker hit the ball and ran. The ball was hurled in to the ‘keeper, who fumbled it, nudging it towards backward point. Simultaneously he had knocked middle stump out of the ground with his other glove. He appealed for a Run out, which was turned down. The batsmen then turned and ran a second run. The fielder then removed one of the two remaining stumps with one hand, with the ball in the other. His appeal for Run out was turned down too. Why?
Neither appeal was upheld because the ball has either to break the wicket, or be held by the same arm, hand – or hands – that initially break the wicket or subsequently remove a remaining stump or stumps.
I was batting in a friendly game when something rather unfriendly happened. I was facing a bowler bowling over the wicket when, all of a sudden, he changed and bowled a short ball from around the wicket. What made this all the more surprising was that not only did the ball whistle past my left ear, but the umpire didn’t call it as a No ball! Surely he should have done so?
As this was a ‘friendly’ game, I assume the person umpiring was one of the players, who might not have known all the Laws. He certainly should have called this as a No ball. The bowler must tell the umpire if he proposes to change his mode of delivery, and the umpire must so inform the batsman. Not doing so can lead to very dangerous occurrences like this one.
We had a hilarious example the other day of just how confusing it can be when a batsman is injured and asks for a runner. The injured batsman was on strike, hit the ball and then clean forgot about his injury and limped to the other end. So did his runner. The non-striker didn’t move. So all three were at the non-striker’s end when the ball was thrown in to the wicket- keeper, who broke the wicket and appealed. Who was out?
The injured batsman was out. The Law states that if he is out of his ground when on strike, as here, he is just as vulnerable to being run-out or stumped at the wicket-keeper’s end as any other striker. As sometimes happens he ran instinctively – thus leaving his ground – having forgotten that he had delegated the ‘running’ to his runner.
We were in a very exciting run-chase. My pal, who was on strike, hit the ball and called me for a sharp single. The fielder did a great job, running in, picking up and firing the ball back to the ‘keeper, all in one movement. I had nearly made my ground when the ‘keeper took off the bails with his left elbow, not with the ball, which was in his left hand, and then appealed. I was given out Run out. Surely the umpire was wrong to do this?
No, he wasn’t. Assuming you had not made your ground; in this situation the Law permits the use of the arm in breaking the wicket, provided the ball is in the same hand at that moment. But, if the ‘keeper had broken the wicket with his left arm with the ball in his other hand, you should not be given out. Sorry, but the umpire was right.