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Law 38 in Action

Run out after contact with fielder’s helmet


A ball is struck directly on to a helmet worn by a fielder. It rebounds, hits the striker and ricochets on to the wicket, dislodging a bail. If the striker is out of his ground, is he out Run out?


In the definitions in Appendix D to the Laws, phrases such as ‘rebounds directly’ are defined as ‘without contact with any fielder’ although contact with the ground is not excluded. Since in the situation described in the question there has been no contact with any fielder after the rebound from the helmet, the striker will not be out Run out.

[Law reference: 38.2, Appendix D]

Dismissal dependent on whether bowler released ball before entering delivery stride or not


The striker’s wicket is put down by the wicket-keeper, or directly from the bowler’s delivery, while he is out of his ground but not attempting a run. What difference does it make to the striker’s dismissal if the bowler released the ball,

(a) during his delivery stride?

(b) before entering his delivery stride?


The question does not mention the bowler’s action in releasing the ball. By definition, if
he is bowling the ball he is in his delivery stride. Equally, if he is not in his delivery stride he cannot be bowling the ball. We have the possibilities

Bowler throws the ball;  can be before or during delivery stride
                                   No ball must be called (and signalled)

Bowler bowls the ball fairly;  is in his delivery stride
                                          delivery might be a No ball from cause other than his action not a No ball.

The answer therefore looks at balls which are not No balls as well those which are. It should be noted that Law 24.4 applies only to throwing the ball towards the striker’s end before delivery.

(a) The bowler has entered his delivery stride. The delivery may be fair or a throw, or a No ball for another reason. He can in no circumstances Run out the striker directly [Law 38.2 (b) ]. Another fielder (who can be the wicket-keeper) must touch the ball before it puts down the wicket.


* The question stated that the striker was not attempting a run. In both this chart and the one in part (b), if he had been attempting a run he would have been out Run out in the three instances marked with an asterisk.

(b) The bowler has not entered his delivery stride. His delivery is therefore not bowling the ball. There is no requirement for the ball to be touched by another fielder before it puts down the wicket. No ball must be called for the throw, but the warning and reporting procedure laid down in Law 24.2 is not to be implemented.


[Law reference: 38.2 (b), 24.4, 38.2 (e) ]

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