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Cricket is one of the most followed sports in the world. In fact, there are over a billion followers globally, 90 percent of which are from India. We won’t repeat the cliche of how cricket is a religion in the country, but it is true that people here are passionate about the sport. But why read about cricket rules when we already know so much about it? Isn’t it the boring stuff?
Well, not much as you think. Learning about a sports’ rules can be rewarding. For starters, it takes you closer to the action on field. You are aware about all the intricacies of the game, even the minutest of details behind an umpire’s decisions. Moreover, whenever an awkward or rare situation happens while playing the sport, you are better prepared to handle situation since you know the game’s by-laws.
Remember the Mankading incident at the start of IPL 2019? Debates were bound to happen in the aftermath of the controversial incident. If you were in one of such situations, knowing the facts, the rules of the game would simply set you apart from the crowd in such situations.
210 rules of cricket that you probably didn’t know
Hand Ball for Batsman!
In cricket, the batsman is not allowed to intentionally touch the ball. This means that if a player tries to prevent the ball from hitting the stumps or anywhere else, he/she is deemed as OUT. This is one of the weird rules of Cricket considering the batsman’s gloves and hand are considered a part of the bat. (Which is why the player is deemed out if the ball hits the player’s gloves and is caught.) However, it is important to note that this rule applies only immediately after a bowlers delivers the ball or during a run-out situation. Once the ball is dead, the batsman is free to touch the ball. Some cricketers even hand it out to the bowler.
An incoming batsman has to be ready to face the ball or be at the non striker’s end with his partner within 3 minutes of the outgoing batsman who has been dismissed or injured. If he/she fails to do so, the incoming batsman can be given out. This is exactly why the cricketer next in line is always ready with the gears on.
Obstructing The Field
According to Law 37 of the Laws of Cricket, a batsman is deemed as out if he willfully obstructs the opposition by word or action. Sometimes during running between the wickets, a batsman may try to block the throwers’ view of the stumps intentionally. If that happens, the batsman is adjudged as out by the umpire under this rule.
One of the famous incidents of obstructing the field was witnessed on on 5 September 2015 in the Ashes Series when England’s Ben Stokes was dismissed when he stopped the Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc’s attempt on stumps.
Hit Ball Twice, Get Out Once!
According Law 34 of the Laws of Cricket, the striker is deemed out if, he hits any part of body, or bat and, before a fielder touches the ball, the striker willfully strikes it again for the sole purpose of guarding the wicket.
You always thought that a batsman cannot be dismissed on a no ball. Well, that isn’t the case. In fact, a batsman can be adjudged as out if he either handles the ball, obstructs the field or hits the ball.
By now, you may have known what Mankading is. Afterall, the term was one of the most talked about points in the 2019 IPL season after Ravichandran Ashwin infamously and unceremoniously dismissed Jos Buttler on the non-striker’s end. Mankading is a form of dismissal when the bowler, instead of using his natural bowling action, turns around and run-outs the batsman at the non-striker’s end who is out of his crease.
Whether the mode of dismissal is right/ethical or not is up for intense debate. While some argue that such ‘soft dismissal techniques’ is against the spirit of the play, others defend that if not for the rule, the batsman will have an undue advantage of ‘gaining a few yards’.
Whatever be the case, Harsha Bhogle made an interesting point recently about using the name ‘Mankading’ to address this kind of dismissal.
Request.Vinoo Mankad was one of our greatest cricketers.He ran Bill Brown out legally & even Sir Don Bradman found nothing wrong. To call it "Mankaded" & look down on it is disrespectful.His family finds it offensive.Can we please stop calling it "Mankaded" & just say 'run-out'?— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 16, 2019
Under the Law 15 of the Laws of Cricket, a forfeiture occurs in Cricket when a captain chooses to forfeit an innings. When this occurs, the innings shall be deemed as a completed innings.
This is one of the rarest forms of winning a Cricket game. Forfeiting a match may lessen the margin of defeat for the team that is bound to lose. One such famous incident involving forfeiture occured in the fourth test between England and Pakistan in 2006.
However, instead of the captains, it was the umpires who took the call to forfeit the game. The decision was taken after the Pakistan team was caught tampering the ball. Later, the ICC confirmed that team had been charged under Level two of the Code of Conduct, 2.10 (changing the condition of the match ball).
In the aftermatch, over 12,000 tickets had to be sold and a combined sum of £400,000 beared by the organizers. The incident also marked the first instance of forfeiture in over 129 years.
The Gift of 5 Runs
Injuries are a part of cricket. A player may injure himself while fielding or running between the wicket. If the cricketer is not in a condition to continue, there is a provision to replace him with the 12th player. The injured fielder needs to procure a permission from the umpire before leaving the field.
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However, if a player (on the fielding side) fails to inform the umpire before leaving, a penalty of 5 runs is bestowed upon the batting side. Furthermore, if a bowler fails to return back from a injury within 15 minutes, he is not allowed to bowl again.
No Appeal, No Wicket! – Wierd Rules of Cricket
One of the most interesting parts of bowling is appealing. Bowlers shout to the bottom of their voices to make the umpires’ ring finger to lift. In fact, manier times, the confidence (and noise!) of the bowlers gives away whether it really is a wicket or not.
However, did you know that this appealing is not only to persuade the umpires to give out?
Under the Law 31 of Laws of Cricket, if the fielding team suspects that the batsman is out, the bowler has to ask the umpire “How’s that?” It is only after the appeal has been made that the umpire can give a wicket. If no appeal has been made, there may not be any decision, even if there is a clear cut dismissal. Although, this is mostly true for edges and LBWs. In cases of dismissals like catch or bowled, the obviousness of the wicket means the batsman leaves the pitch even before the umpire raises the finger.
The Weird Dead Ball Rule
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Rules of cricket are funny at times. Dead ball is a state in the play when the players are not allowed to perform any of the active aspects of the game. This includes that the batsmen cannot score runs or the fielders cannot attempt to get the batsmen out.
A ball gets dead:
if the ball is gathered by the wicketkeeper or bowler or goes out for a boundary;
if the batsman is dismissed.
However, one interesting way in which the ball is adjudged dead when it hits hits the stadium’s roof, spider cam or any other equipment within the stadium. It doesn’t matter if the ball is headed for a six of a catch.
Penalty in Rules of Cricket
Like Football, Cricket too has the concept of Penalty. During the play, if the ball touches helmet of the wicket-keeper on the ground, the umpire levies a penalty of 5 runs over the fielding team. This is irrespective of the force of the touch with the helmet or the outcome.
Mankading is a rule where the bowler can run out the non-striking batsman if they leave the crease before the ball is bowled.
Obstructing the field occurs when a batsman intentionally obstructs the fielding team from making a legitimate attempt to dismiss them.
If the batsman hits the ball twice intentionally, they are given out. However, if they do it to avoid injury, they are not out.
‘Handled the Ball’ is a rule where a batsman intentionally handles the ball without the permission of the fielding side. It leads to his dismissal.