With the ongoing England tour of the Indian team and most people still holed up within the four walls of their home, the expectation is building up for some good cricket. And well, if there is something related to the game of cricket, that is as old as the game itself, it is the controversy around the game. When it comes to cricket, the emotions always overflow and the fans get all worked up when something happens on the field that they can’t understand.
There are quite a few rules that even some of the most avid followers of cricket might not know. So for the benefit of everyone here are a few of the rules that are not known to many. Have a good time reading these and get all set to cheer your IPL team.
No loo breaks, oops!
We’ll start with a funny one. The ‘No Comfort Break’ rule states that no player would get a substitute fielder for any other reason except medical attention not even for one over and not even if the reason is controllable nature’s call. Australia opener Matthew Renshaw was caught in a similar situation in 2017 in Pune, during an India – Australia test match, thanks to skipper Warner he could go and relieve himself.
So to circumvent this (so to say) draconian rule, instead of asking for a loo-break, players have started asking for medical attention. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures 😉
Hits the head, still a leg bye
If a bowler balls a bouncer or a full toss ball that hits the batsman’s helmets and flies all the way to the boundary, the umpire will award 6 leg byes. The rule says that if the ball deflects off the batsman’s body they can attempt to score runs in a similar manner as if they had hit the ball. The number of runs scored is scored as leg byes. If the ball deflects off the batsman’s body and travels all the way to the boundary, the batting team is awarded 4 or 6 leg byes depending on whether the ball touched the ground before the boundary.”
The only part of the batsman’s body to which the rule does not apply is the hand (that is, the batsman’s gloves) holding the bat, which is deemed to be a part of the bat. If the ball strikes a hand that is not holding the bat, then leg byes may be scored. However, if the batsman deliberately allows the ball to hit a hand that is not holding the bat, no leg byes can be scored. On the contrary, for such an act they may, on appeal, be given out for obstructing the field.
Not always a leg bye
Leg byes can only be scored if the ball hits the batsman while the batsman was either
- attempting to hit the ball with his bat, or
- attempting to evade being hit by the ball.
If the batsman was attempting neither of these, and the ball hits his body, it is a dead ball and runs may not be scored.
You can’t always save it
A fielder can jump over the ropes to stop the ball from going over the boundary, however, if the ball has already crossed the boundary rope it will be considered as six.
The power to bail
Things can get complicated in a high-pressure game with millions of fans watching it. The emotions and rivalry sores and so does the tension between the players. Cricket, however, is a gentleman’s game and there’s a rule to let that spirit live. If a batsman is declared out, the rule gives the captain of the fielding team to withdraw the dismissal. It does require the umpire’s consent though.
We have seen instances where Captains have actually used it to save the batsman of the opponent team in case of the middle of pitch collision or the batsman having a sudden injury.
No appeal, not out… Howzzat?
As a rule, the umpire can’t give a batsman out if the team doesn’t appeal. So even if the umpire knows that the batsman is out, unless the fielding team appeals he can’t dismiss the batsman. And believe me, the same has happened many a time.
An appeal is an appeal
There is no specific appeal like an appeal for a catch, or appeal for LBW or an appeal for a stumping. So it may happen that the fielding team appeals for LBW but the umpire declares the batsman out for getting caught behind the wicket.
No faking business in gentleman’s game
Did you know that if a fielder makes a fake fielding attempt to deceive the batsman, then there is a penalty of 5 runs that can be awarded to the batting team? The rule states “ it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball. The umpires have the discretion to award five penalty runs if they determine that such deception is willful.”
The same penalty is also awarded if the fielder tries to stop the ball with anything other than his body.
A rule is a rule (however funny it might be)
Ever heard of Gardner who was watering plants holding an umbrella in the rain? There is something similar and equally inane in the cricket rule book.
There’s a rule in cricket that mandates that the grass on the pitch has to be mowed before the start of play, every single day, even if there is hardly any grass on the pitch! So how do they mow a grass-less pitch? Well, they simply set the blade of the mower high enough that it doesn’t touch the surface and spares any harm to the pitch. However, mindless and irrational it may sound but they have to do it anyway.
Bonus: Scoring Symbols
We hope you liked these rules. We intend to keep updating this article so if you know of any such rule that’s not in common knowledge then do let us know in the comment section below.