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Law 37 (Obstructing the field)

1. Out Obstructing the field

Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.  In particular, but not solely, it shall be regarded as obstruction and either batsman will be out Obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball, as defined in Law 33.1, he wilfully strikes the ball with

(i) a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury.  See also Law 33.2 (Not out Handled the ball).

(ii) any other part of his person or with his bat.  See also Law 34 (Hit the ball twice).

2. Accidental obstruction

It is for either umpire to decide whether any obstruction or distraction is wilful or not.  He shall consult the other umpire if he has any doubt.

3. Obstructing a ball from being caught

The striker is out should wilful obstruction or distraction by either batsman prevent a catch being made.  This shall apply even though the obstruction is caused by the striker himself in lawfully guarding his wicket under the provision of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).

4. Returning the ball to a fielder

Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and without the consent of a fielder, he uses his bat or any part of his person, including a hand not holding the bat, to return the ball to any fielder.

5. Runs scored

When either batsman is dismissed Obstructing the field,

(a) unless the obstruction prevents a catch from being made, runs completed by the batsmen before the offence shall be scored, together with any runs awarded for penalties to either side.  See Laws 18.6 (Runs awarded for penalties) and 18.9 (Runs scored when a batsman is dismissed).

(b) if the obstruction prevents a catch from being made, runs completed by the batsmen shall not be scored but any penalties awarded to either side shall stand.

6. Bowler does not get credit

The bowler does not get credit for the wicket.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2013


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