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Law 37 - Obstructing the field

THE LAW

37.1 Out Obstructing the field

37.1.1 Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, and while the ball is in play, he/she wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action.  See also Law 34 (Hit the ball twice).

37.1.2 The striker is out Obstructing the field if, except in the circumstances of 37.2, in the act of receiving a ball delivered by the bowler, he/she wilfully strikes the ball with a hand not holding the bat.  This will apply whether it is the first strike or a second or subsequent strike.  The act of receiving the ball shall extend both to playing at the ball and to striking the ball more than once in defence of his/her wicket.

37.1.3 This Law will apply whether or not No ball is called.

37.2 Not out Obstructing the field

A batsman shall not be out Obstructing the field if

        obstruction or distraction is accidental,

or    obstruction is in order to avoid injury,

or    in the case of the striker, he/she makes a second or subsequent strike to guard his/her wicket lawfully as in Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).  However, see 37.3. 

37.3 Obstructing a ball from being caught

The striker is out Obstructing the field should wilful obstruction or distraction by either batsman prevent a catch being completed.  This shall apply even though the obstruction is caused by the striker in lawfully guarding his/her wicket under the provision of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once).

37.4 Returning the ball to a fielder

Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if, at any time while the ball is in play and, without the consent of a fielder, he/she uses the bat or any part of his/her person to return the ball to any fielder.

37.5 Runs scored

When either batsman is dismissed Obstructing the field,

37.5.1 unless the obstruction prevents a catch from being made, any runs completed by the batsmen before the offence shall be scored, together with any runs awarded for penalties to either side.  See Laws 18.6 (Runs awarded for penalties) and 18.8 (Runs scored when a batsman is dismissed).

37.5.2 if the obstruction prevents a catch from being made, any runs completed by the batsmen shall not be scored but any penalties awarded to either side shall stand.

37.6 Bowler does not get credit

The bowler does not get credit for the wicket.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

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Animation

Listen to actor, broadcaster and writer Stephen Fry, a well known cricket enthusiast and occasional umpire, bring his authoritative voice to the narration of this animation of the law. 

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