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Law 28 - The fielder

THE LAW

28.1 Protective equipment

No fielder other than the wicket-keeper shall be permitted to wear gloves or external leg guards.  In addition, protection for the hand or fingers may be worn only with the consent of the umpires. 

28.2 Fielding the ball

28.2.1 A fielder may field the ball with any part of his/her person (see Appendix A.12), except as in 28.2.1.2.  However, he/she will be deemed to have fielded the ball illegally if, while the ball is in play he/she wilfully

28.2.1.1 uses anything other than part of his/her person to field the ball.

28.2.1.2 extends his/her clothing with his/her hands and uses this to field the ball.

28.2.1.3 discards a piece of clothing, equipment or any other object which subsequently makes contact with the ball.

28.2.2 It is not illegal fielding if the ball in play makes contact with a piece of clothing, equipment or any other object which has accidentally fallen from the fielder’s person.

28.2.3 If a fielder illegally fields the ball, the ball shall immediately become dead and

- the penalty for a No ball or a Wide shall stand.

- any runs completed by the batsmen shall be credited to the batting side, together with the run in progress if the batsmen had already crossed at the instant of the offence.

- the ball shall not count as one of the over.

In addition the umpire shall

- award 5 Penalty runs to the batting side.

- inform the other umpire and the captain of the fielding side of the reason for this action.

- inform the batsmen and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

The umpires together shall report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the offending side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain, any other individuals concerned and, if appropriate, the team.

28.3 Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side

28.3.1 Protective helmets, when not in use by fielders, may not be placed on the ground, above the surface except behind the wicket-keeper and in line with both sets of stumps.

28.3.2 If the ball while in play strikes a helmet, placed as described in 28.3.1

28.3.2.1 the ball shall become dead

and, subject to 28.3.3,

28.3.2.2 an award of 5 Penalty runs shall be made to the batting side;

28.3.2.3 any runs completed by the batsmen before the ball strikes the protective helmet shall be scored, together with the run in progress if the batsmen had already crossed at the instant of the ball striking the protective helmet.

28.3.3 If the ball while in play strikes a helmet, placed as described in 28.3.1, unless the circumstances of Law 23.3 (Leg byes not to be awarded), 25.7 (Restriction on the striker’s runner) or Law 34 (Hit the ball twice) apply, the umpire shall

- permit the batsmen’s runs as in 28.3.2.3 to be scored

- signal No ball or Wide ball to the scorers if applicable

- award 5 Penalty runs as in 28.3.2.2

- award any other Penalty runs applicable.

28.3.4 If the ball while in play strikes a helmet, placed as described in 28.3.1 and the circumstances of Law 23.3 (Leg byes not to be awarded), 25.7 (Restriction on the striker’s runner) or Law 34 (Hit the ball twice) apply, the umpire shall

- disallow all runs to the batting side

- return any not out batsman to his/her original end

- signal No ball or Wide ball to the scorers if applicable

- award any 5-run Penalty that is applicable except for Penalty runs under 28.3.2.

28.4 Limitation of on side fielders

At the instant of the bowler’s delivery there shall not be more than two fielders, other than the wicket-keeper, behind the popping crease on the on side.  A fielder will be considered to be behind the popping crease unless the whole of his/her person whether grounded or in the air is in front of this line.

In the event of infringement of this Law by any fielder, the striker’s end umpire shall call and signal No ball.

28.5 Fielders not to encroach on pitch

While the ball is in play and until the ball has made contact with the striker’s bat or person, or has passed the striker’s bat, no fielder, other than the bowler, may have any part of his/her person grounded on or extended over the pitch.

In the event of infringement of this Law by any fielder other than the wicket-keeper, the bowler’s end umpire shall call and signal No ball as soon as possible after delivery of the ball.  Note, however, Law 27.3 (Position of wicket-keeper).

28.6 Movement by any fielder other than the wicket-keeper

28.6.1 Any movement by any fielder, excluding the wicket-keeper, after the ball comes into play and before the ball reaches the striker, is unfair except for the following:

28.6.1.1 minor adjustments to stance or position in relation to the striker’s wicket.

28.6.1.2 movement by any fielder, other than a close fielder, towards the striker or the striker’s wicket that does not significantly alter the position of the fielder.

28.6.1.3 movement by any fielder in response to the stroke that the striker is playing or that his/her actions suggest he/she intends to play.

28.6.2 In all circumstances Law 28.4 (Limitation of on side fielders) shall apply.

28.6.3 In the event of such unfair movement, either umpire shall call and signal Dead ball.

28.6.4 Note also the provisions of Law 41.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker).  See also Law 27.4 (Movement by wicket-keeper).


© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

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