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Law 23 (Dead ball)

1. Ball is dead

(a) The ball becomes dead when

(i) it is finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or of the bowler.

(ii) a boundary is scored. See Law 19.3 (Scoring a boundary).

(iii) a batsman is dismissed. The ball will be deemed to be dead from the instant of the incident causing the dismissal.

(iv) whether played or not it becomes trapped between the bat and person of a batsman or between items of his clothing or equipment.

(v) whether played or not it lodges in the clothing or equipment of a batsman or the clothing of an umpire.

(vi) it lodges in a protective helmet worn by a fielder.

(vii) there is an award of penalty runs under either of Laws 2.6 (Player returning without permission) or 41.2 (Fielding the ball). The ball shall not count as one of the over.

(viii) there is contravention of Law 41.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side).

(ix) Lost ball is called. See Law 20 (Lost ball).

(x)   the match is concluded in any of the ways stated in Law 16.9 (Conclusion of match).

(b) The ball shall be considered to be dead when it is clear to the bowler’s end umpire that the fielding side and both batsmen at the wicket have ceased to regard it as in play.

2. Ball finally settled

Whether the ball is finally settled or not is a matter for the umpire alone to decide.

3. Call of Over or Time

Neither the call of Over (see Law 22.4), nor the call of Time (see Law 16.2) is to be made until the ball is dead, either under 1 above or under 4 below.

4. Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball

(a) When the ball has become dead under 1 above, the bowler’s end umpire may call and signal Dead ball if it is necessary to inform the players.

(b) Either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball when

(i) he intervenes in a case of unfair play.

(ii) a serious injury to a player or umpire occurs.

(iii) he leaves his normal position for consultation.

(iv) one or both bails fall from the striker’s wicket before the striker has had the opportunity of playing the ball.

(v) the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and, if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it. Provided the umpire is satisfied that the striker had adequate reason for not being ready, the ball shall not count as one of the over.

(vi) the striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery. This shall apply whether the source of the distraction is within the game or outside it. Note also (vii) below.

The ball shall not count as one of the over.

(vii) there is an instance of a deliberate attempt to distract under either of Laws 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) or 42.5 (Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman). The ball shall not count as one of the over.

(viii) the bowler drops the ball accidentally before delivery.

(ix) the ball does not leave the bowler’s hand for any reason other than an attempt to run out the non-striker before entering his delivery stride. See under Law 42.15 (Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery).

(x) he is required to do so under any of the Laws not included above.

5. Ball ceases to be dead

The ball ceases to be dead - that is, it comes into play - when the bowler starts his run up or, if he has no run up, his bowling action.

6. Dead ball; ball counting as one of over

(a) When a ball which has been delivered is called dead or is to be considered dead then, other than as in (b) below,

(i) it will not count in the over if the striker has not had an opportunity to play it.

(ii) it will be a valid ball if the striker has had an opportunity to play it, unless No ball or Wide has been called, except in the circumstances of 4(b)(vi) above and Laws 2.6 (Fielder returning without permission), 41.2 (Fielding the ball), 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) and 42.5 (Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman).

(b) In 4(b)(v) above, the ball will not count in the over only if both conditions of not attempting to play the ball and having an adequate reason for not being ready are met. Otherwise the delivery will be a valid ball.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2013


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