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Law 27 - The wicket-keeper

THE LAW

27.1 Protective equipment

The wicket-keeper is the only fielder permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards. If these are worn, they are to be regarded as part of his/her person for the purposes of Law 28.2 (Fielding the ball).  If by the wicket-keeper’s actions and positioning when the ball comes into play it is apparent to the umpires that he/she will not be able to carry out the normal duties of a wicket-keeper, he/she shall forfeit this right and also the right to be recognised as a wicket-keeper for the purposes of Laws 33.2 (A fair catch), 39 (Stumped), 28.1 (Protective equipment), 28.4 (Limitation of on-side fielders) and 28.5 (Fielders not to encroach on pitch).

27.2 Gloves

27.2.1 If, as permitted under 27.1, the wicket-keeper wears gloves, they shall have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support. 

27.2.2 If used, the webbing shall be a single piece of non-stretch material which, although it may have facing material attached, shall have no reinforcements or tucks.

27.2.3 The top edge of the webbing shall not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb and shall be taut when a hand wearing the glove has the thumb fully extended. See Appendix E.

27.3 Position of wicket-keeper

27.3.1 The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket at the striker’s end from the moment the ball comes into play until a ball delivered by the bowler

touches the bat or person of the striker or

passes the wicket at the striker’s end or

the striker attempts a run.

27.3.2 In the event of the wicket-keeper contravening this Law, the striker’s end umpire shall call and signal No ball as soon as applicable after the delivery of the ball.

27.4 Movement by wicket-keeper

27.4.1 After the ball comes into play and before it reaches the striker, it is unfair if the wicket-keeper significantly alters his/her position in relation to the striker’s wicket, except for the following:

27.4.1.1 movement of a few paces forward for a slower delivery, unless in so doing it brings him/her within reach of the wicket.

27.4.1.2 lateral movement in response to the direction in which the ball has been delivered.

27.4.1.3 movement in response to the stroke that the striker is playing or that his/her actions suggest he/she intends to play.  However the provisions of Law 27.3 shall apply.

27.4.2 In the event of unfair movement by the wicket-keeper, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball.

27.5 Restriction on actions of wicket-keeper

If, in the opinion of either umpire, the wicket-keeper interferes with the striker’s right to play the ball and to guard his/her wicket, Law 20.4.2.6 (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball) shall apply.

If, however, either umpire considers that the interference by the wicket-keeper was wilful, then Law 41.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) shall also apply.

27.6 Interference with wicket-keeper by striker

If, in playing at the ball or in the legitimate defence of his/her wicket, the striker interferes with the wicket-keeper, he/she shall not be out except as provided for in Law 37.3 (Obstructing a ball from being caught).


© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

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