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Law 34 changes - Hit The Ball Twice

Law 34

Changes | Reason for change | Interpretation & Application | Video example


Changes to the Law are in italics

34.4.    Runs scored from ball lawfully struck more than once

When the ball is lawfully struck more than once, as permitted in 3 above, only the first strike is to be considered in determining what runs may be scored.

(a)    If on the first strike the umpire is satisfied that
     (i)    the ball first struck the bat
    or  (ii)    the striker attempted to hit the ball with his bat
    or (iii)    the striker attempted to avoid being hit by the ball
the batting side shall not be credited with any runs but any penalties that may be applicable shall stand except that a penalty under Law 41.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side) is not to be awarded.

(b)    If the umpire considers that on the first strike none of the conditions in (a) has been met, then no runs or penalties will be credited to the batting side other than the one run penalty for a No ball if applicable.

34.5. No runs permitted from ball lawfully struck more than once – action by the umpire

(a)    If no run is attempted but the ball reaches the boundary the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball and disallow the boundary.

(b)    If the batsmen run, and
    (i)    neither batsman is dismissed and the ball does not become dead for any other reason, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as one run is completed or the ball reaches the boundary.  The run or boundary shall be disallowed. The batsmen shall be returned to their original ends.
     (ii)    a batsman is dismissed or for any other reason the ball becomes dead before one run is completed or the ball reaches the boundary, all the provisions of the Laws will apply except that the batting side shall not be credited with any runs, except the penalties permitted under 4(a) or 4(b) above as appropriate.

Reason for change

Law 34.4 (Runs scored from ball lawfully struck more than once) – it has been decided that runs can no longer be scored after a lawful second strike. Currently, runs can be taken only after an overthrow, but it is now agreed that a lawful second strike (in defence of his wicket) was enough of a privilege for the striker and that no runs should be able to accrue.

Interpretation and application

The change is that now the batsmen are not allowed to take runs, even for overthrows.  
The basic facts remain the same.  The striker is permitted to make a second strike (and subsequent strokes)

  • if it is solely an attempt to prevent the ball striking his wicket
  • if he uses his bat or his person but not a hand not holding the bat
  • if it does not interfere with a fielder attempting to take a catch

If the batsmen run, the procedure is exactly the same as for batsmen taking illegal Leg byes.  The only question about runs is whether penalties can be allowed.

This depends on whether or not the umpire is satisfied that the first strike was on the bat or, if on the person, that the striker made a genuine attempt either to play the ball with his bat or to avoid being hit by the ball. 

It the umpire is satisfied of this, then any penalties, with one exception, will stand.  If he is not satisfied, the only penalty that can be awarded is the one run for a No ball, if applicable.  The one exception noted above is the 5 runs for the ball hitting the helmet.  This is not to be awarded whatever the circumstances of the second strike.  

The Law specifies that Handled the ball will apply in the case of a second or subsequent stroke unless a catch is prevented.

Example of a lawful second strike

  • The second strike here is lawful, as it is defence of his wicket.  
  • The new Law change in 2013 means that no runs may accrue after a lawful second strike, except runs awarded for most penalties.  The only penalty runs that are not allowed are runs that would usually be awarded when the ball strikes a helmet on the ground.

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