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Law 2 in Action

What constitutes injury during the match?


If, during the match, a player aggravates an injury sustained before the match, should the umpires regard this as ‘injury during the current match’, qualifying him for a runner and/or a substitute?


Since umpires have no special medical expertise, they must assume that if a player is nominated he is fit to play. Accordingly, if his condition worsens a substitute/runner can be allowed. If there is any evidence of sharp practice, at that time or later, this would be a matter for action under Law 42.

[Law reference: 2.1]

Interruption during a fielder's absence


There is an interruption during a fielder’s absence. How does this affect the time he has to wait before being allowed to bowl after his return?


It is important to recognise what is playing time and what is not. Any span of time which starts with a call of Play by the umpire and which ends with a call of Time by the umpire is playing time. An interruption or interval is the reverse of this, starting with a call of Time and ending with a call of Play. It is only playing time that counts towards length of time absent. If between the time a player leaves the field and the time he returns there is an interruption (or an interval), then his absence is the time he is off the field before the break, plus the time he is off the field after the break. The time of the break itself is not ‘playing time absent’.

For example, in each of the following cases the player leaves at 11-55 a.m. and returns at 12-30 p.m. His absence is the time from 11-55 to the start of the break, added to the time from the end of the break until 12-30. In the second case he has been absent only 10 minutes of playing time and therefore need not wait at all.

absence break absence total absence wait
11-55 to 12 = 5 min drinks 12 to 12-04 = 4 mins 12-04 to 12-30 = 26 mins 31 min 31 min
11-55 to 12 = 5 min rain 12-00 to 12-25 = 25 mins 12-25 to 12-30 = 5 mins 10 min nil
11-55 to 12-15 = 20 min rain 12-15 to 12-30 = 15 mins nil 20 min *

* In the third example, because his return coincides with the resumption of play, he can count the 15 minute break as part of his 20 minute waiting time and has only 5 more minutes to wait. This concession applies only if the break is an unscheduled interruption, not an arranged interval, and the absent fielder returns at the end of the break

[Law reference: 2.5]

Interruption before fielder’s ‘penance time’ completed


A player has been absent from the field for 35 minutes. He has been back on the field for 10 minutes when there is an interruption for rain. If he returns with the rest of the team at the end of the interruption, can he count the time taken for the interruption as part of his waiting time, or does Law 2.5(c)(iii) apply only to players who are off the field when the interruption begins?


To count the time of an interruption as time on the field of play – i.e. to be able to offset this time against waiting time – Law 2.5(c)(iii) lays down only two conditions.

The break in play must be an unscheduled interruption, not an arranged interval.

The player must return to the field on the resumption of play at the end of the interruption.

Whenever these two conditions are satisfied, this section of Law will apply. In the example quoted, the player still has 25 minutes to wait when the interruption starts. If it lasts for 15 minutes, he will have 10 more minutes to wait on resumption of play.

[Law reference: 2.5]

Replacing a runner


The Law states that a runner should if possible have already batted. This is clearly not possible when one of the opening batsmen is injured and is permitted a runner. If the other opening batsman is dismissed before the injured one, should he immediately replace the runner?


There are two reasons why the Law lays down that a runner should have batted already (if possible). The first is that it is clearly undesirable that a batsman soon to come in himself should have either prior experience of the light and other conditions or sight of the bowling. The second is that it is also clearly undesirable for a runner to be changed, to bring in a fresh player instead of a tired one. Becoming tired is a factor of some significance in the d evelopment of a batsman’s innings and one that a batsman who is not injured has to contend with. It is therefore good practice to insist that if a runner cannot have batted already, he should be one from quite low in the batting order.

The likelihood is then that the need to change the runner will not arise. This is preferable to full but retrospective compliance with Law 2.7. If the other opener were to be dismissed very shortly after the injury, it might then be suitable for him to replace the first runner. The umpire must use his judgment. In general, however, the original runner should stay unless he himself is injured, the approach of his own innings requires that there should be at least some gap before he comes to the wicket or there is a significant break in play, when a change would be appropriate.

[Law reference: 2.7]

Player comes on to field as substitute without permission


Where does the Law stand with regard to a substitute fielder entering the field of play without permission?


When a nominated player leaves the field of play, it is laid down that the umpire is to be informed. The two umpires then jointly decide whether or not the reason for absence justifies the granting of a substitute under either Law 2.1(a) or Law 2.1(b). If during play a player comes on as a substitute without such permission, the Law has been breached. When the presence of the unauthorised player first becomes apparent, as soon as the ball is dead the umpires will consider what further action to take. Such further action will include either refusing or granting permission for the substitute, and may possibly include reporting the incident as an act of unfair play.

If, however, before this action is taken the player makes contact with the ball in play then, before applying the procedure prescribed above, the procedure laid down in Law 2.6(i) and (ii) should be followed. It is only in this latter case that the stricture that the delivery is not to count in the over will apply.

On the other hand, if the umpires have granted permission for a substitute to act for a nominated player, the substitute is then to be counted as a fielder. (See Appendix D - definition of ‘fielder’.) Any Laws applying to a fielder apply to him. In granting permission for a substitute, clearly the umpires will arrange for his coming on to the field when the ball is dead. Although later he may, like any other fielder, be guilty of transgression, no question of contravention of Laws 2.5 and 2.6 can arise at this point.

[Law reference: 2.6,2.1]

Score when fielder returning without permission handles the ball


The ball is travelling towards the boundary. It has not quite reached it when it is picked up by a previously absent fielder coming back on to the field without permission. His feet are clearly grounded outside the boundary line as he does so. Obviously 5 penalty runs are to be awarded and will be additional to any other runs. Would ‘any other runs’ include a boundary 4 because the fielder was in contact with the ground outside the boundary when he fielded the ball?


It is true that, in general, if one and the same act contravenes two Laws, both penalties will apply. Here however, that situation does not arise. Law 19.3 makes it clear that for a boundary either the ball itself, or a fielder in contact with the ball, must be on or over the boundary. This cannot apply to the returning player. Since he has not had permission to return he is
not a fielder. This is specifically stated in the definition of a fielder in Appendix D. The only Law that applies to him fielding the ball is 2.6. As he handled the ball while it was in play, 5 penalty runs will be awarded, but the fact that he was in contact with the boundary is irrelevant. Runs completed by the batsmen, plus the run in progress if they had crossed at the moment he came into contact with the ball, together with a 1 run penalty if No ball or Wide had been called, would be added to the 5 penalty runs as normal.

[Law reference: 2.6, 19.6, App D]

Injured striker runs even though he has a runner


An injured striker has a runner. The runner remains within his ground at the striker’s end, but the injured striker and the non-striker both run, and both make good the ground at the opposite end. Should this run be allowed?


No. Law 29.2(e) makes it clear that the injured striker’s ground is always at the wicket-keeper’s end. Even though he grounds his bat behind the crease at the bowler’s end, he has not made good his ground. Law 18.1 requires that both batsmen make good their ground for a run to be scored. Therefore no run has been completed.

[Law reference: 2.8, 18.1, 29.2(e)]

Stumped when the striker has a runner (1)


It is accepted that if the non-striker or a runner, if there is one, is out of his ground, then he is considered to be attempting a run. Does that mean that in order for the striker to be out Stumped, his runner must be within his ground?


It is true that, where relevant, when the runner is not in his ground he is to be considered to be running.

However, Law 2.8 specifically states that the striker will be “out in the circumstances or Law 38 (Run out) or Law 39 (Stumped) irrespective of the position of the non-striker or of the runner.”

This means that if the striker himself is out of his ground, the position of his runner is irrelevant.

[Law reference: 2.8, 39.1, 39.3]

Stumped when the striker has a runner (2)


An injured striker for whom a runner has been allowed receives a ball which is not a No ball and plays it to square leg. The non-striker and runner complete one run. However, the wicket- keeper, without the intervention of another member of the fielding side, fields the ball and by a direct throw puts down the wicket at the striker’s end. Finding the injured striker (who had not himself attempted to run) out of his ground, the wicket keeper appeals. Is the striker out Stumped?


The conditions for Stumped are that;

a) The striker must be receiving a delivery that is not a No ball.

b) The striker (in this case with a runner) is out of his ground when the wicket is put down at his end.

c) The wicket-keeper has put down the wicket without the intervention of another fielder.

d) The striker is not attempting a run.

From the description of the incident, (b) and (c) are certainly satisfied. However, although the delivery is not a No ball, the striker is not ‘receiving this delivery’. Hence he will not be out Stumped. Because he was out of his ground when the wicket was put down, the position of his runner is irrelevant as is also the fact that he himself had not attempted to run. He will himself be out Run out and the completed run will be disallowed. The non-striker will return to his original end.

[Law reference: 2.8, 39.1, 39.3]

Both batsmen leaving the field of play


Both batsmen leave the field during an innings without stating that they are retiring. On investigation, the umpires decide that this action constitutes a refusal to play and, after due warning to the captain, award the match. How should the innings of the two batsmen be recorded? Would it have made any difference if the refusal to play, leading to the award of the match, had been during the tea interval?


The first answer is straightforwardly ‘Retired - out’. The batsmen left the field while play was in progress and before the innings had ended. At that point no investigation had been made, the match had not yet been awarded, so the match had not reached a conclusion. They have therefore retired, which every batsman is entitled to do at any time during his innings. The Law instructs that if for any reason a retired batsman does not resume his innings, he will be recorded as ‘Retired - . . .’. If, as in this case, the cause of his departure was not illness or injury, etc, it is to be ‘Retired - out’.

The answer to the second question is the same. The sequence of events is:
Tea interval starts – both batsmen in mid-innings.
Umpires decide captain is refusing to play. This applies to the whole team, so both batsmen count as declining to continue their innings – which is exactly what retiring is. They have effectively retired.
Match awarded – so innings now concluded.
‘Retired’ batsmen have not returned. The are recorded as Retired – out.

It may be worth noting that the answer would have been different had the captain conceded defeat rather than refusing to play. Then the sequence would have been:
Tea interval starts – both batsmen in mid-innings.
Captain brings innings to conclusion by conceding defeat.
No question of retiring has arisen and so there is no question of not returning after retirement. The two batsmen are simply Not out.

[Law reference: 2.9, 21.3]

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