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Law 40 (The wicket-keeper)

1. Protective equipment

The wicket-keeper is the only fielder permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards. If he does so these are to be regarded as part of his person for the purposes of Law 41.2 (Fielding the ball). If by his actions and positioning it is apparent to the umpires that he will not be able to discharge his duties as a wicket-keeper, he shall forfeit this right and also the right to be recognised as a wicket-keeper for the purposes of Laws 32.3 (A fair catch), 39 (Stumped), 41.1 (Protective equipment ), 41.5 (Limitation of on-side fielders) and 41.6 (Fielders not to encroach on pitch).

2. Gloves

If, as permitted under 1 above, 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. If used, the webbing shall be

(a) a single piece of non-stretch material which, although it may have facing material attached, shall have no reinforcements or tucks.

(b) such that the top edge of the webbing

(i) does not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb.

(ii) is taut when a hand wearing the glove has the thumb fully extended.

See Appendix C.

3. Position of wicket-keeper

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

(a) a ball delivered by the bowler,

either (i) touches the bat or person of the striker,

or (ii) passes the wicket at the striker’s end,

or (b) the striker attempts a run.

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.

4. Movement by wicket-keeper

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

(i)    movement of a few paces forward for a slower delivery, unless in so doing it brings him within reach of the wicket.

(ii)    lateral movement in response to the direction in which the ball has been delivered.

(iii)    movement in response to the stroke that the striker is playing or that his actions suggest he intends to play. However, the provisions of Law 40.3 (Position of wicket-keeper) shall apply.

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

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 wicket, Law 23.4(b)(vi) (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball) shall apply.
If, however, either umpire considers that the interference by the wicket-keeper was wilful, then Law 42.4 (Deliberate attempt to distract striker) shall also apply.

6. Interference with wicket-keeper by striker

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

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2013

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