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Law 42 (Fair and unfair play)

The Laws of Cricket | Running out the Non Striker

1. Fair and unfair play - responsibility of captains

The responsibility lies with the captains for ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit and traditions of the game, as described in The Preamble – The Spirit of Cricket, as well as within the Laws.

2. Fair and unfair play - responsibility of umpires

The umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play. If either umpire considers an action, not covered by the Laws, to be unfair he shall intervene without appeal and, if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball and implement the procedure as set out in 18 below. Otherwise umpires shall not interfere with the progress of play wi thout appeal except as required to do so by the Laws.

3. The match ball - changing its condition

(a) Any fielder may

(i) polish the ball provided that no artificial substance is used and that such polishing wastes no time.

(ii) remove mud from the ball under the supervision of the umpire.

(iii) dry a wet ball on a piece of cloth.

(b) It is unfair for anyone to rub the ball on the ground for any reason, to interfere with any of the seams or the surface of the ball, to use any implement, or to take any other action whatsoever which is likely to alter the condition of the ball, except as permitted in (a) above.

(c) The umpires shall make frequent and irregular inspections of the ball.

(d) If the umpires together agree that the deterioration in the condition of the ball is greater than is consistent with the use it has received, they shall consider that there has been a contravention of this Law. They shall

(i) change the ball forthwith. It shall be for the umpires to decide on the replacement ball. It shall, in their opinion, have had wear comparable to that which the previous ball had received immediately prior to the contravention.

Additionally the bowler’s end umpire shall,

(ii) award 5 penalty runs to the batting side.

(iii) inform the batsmen that the ball has been changed.

(iv) inform the captain of the fielding side that the reason for the action was the unfair interference with the ball.

(v) inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred.

(vi) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and team concerned.

(e) If the umpires together agree that there has been any further instance in that innings of greater deterioration in the condition of the ball than is consistent with the use it has received, they shall

(i) repeat the procedure in (d)(i), (ii) and (iii) above,

Additionally the bowler’s end umpire shall,

(ii) inform the captain of the fielding side of the reason for the action taken and direct him to suspend forthwith the bowler forthwith who delivered the immediately preceding ball. The bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.

If applicable, the over shall be completed by another bowler, who shall neither have bowled any part of the previous over, nor be allowed to bowl any part of the next over.

(iii) inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable of what has occurred.

(iv) together with the other umpire report the further occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and team concerned.

4. Deliberate attempt to distract striker

It is unfair for any fielder deliberately to attempt to distract the striker while he is preparing to receive or receiving a delivery.

(a) If either umpire considers that any action by a fielder is such an attempt, at the first instance he shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call. The bowler’s end umpire shall

(i) warn the captain of the fielding side that the action is unfair and indicate that this is a first and final warning.

(ii) inform the batsmen of what has occurred.

Neither batsman shall be dismissed from that delivery. The ball shall not count as one of the over.

(b) If there is any further such deliberate attempt by any fielder in that innings, the procedures, other than warning, as set out in (a) above shall apply. Additionally, the bowler’s end umpire shall

(i) award 5 penalty runs to the batting side.

(ii) inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of the reason for the action.

(iii) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and the player or players concerned.

5. Deliberate distraction or obstruction of batsman

In addition to 4 above, it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball.

(a) It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction or obstruction is wilful or not.

(b) If either umpire considers that a fielder has caused or attempted to cause such a distraction or obstruction, he shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call.

(c) Neither batsman shall be dismissed from that delivery.

Additionally,

(d) The bowler’s end umpire shall

(i) award 5 penalty runs to the batting side.

(ii) inform the captain of the fielding side of the reason for this action and as soon as practicable inform the captain of the batting side.

(e) The ball shall not count as one of the over.

(f) Runs completed by the batsmen before the offence shall be scored, together with any runs for penalties awarded to either side. Additionally, the run in progress shall be scored whether or not the batsmen had already crossed at the instant of the offence.

(g) The batsmen at the wicket shall decide which of them is to face the next delivery.

(h) The umpires together shall report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and player or players concerned.

6. Dangerous and unfair bowling

(a) Bowling of fast short pitched balls

(i) The bowling of fast short pitched balls is dangerous and unfair if the bowler’s end umpire considers that by their repetition and taking into account their length, height and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on the striker irrespective of the protective equipment he may be wearing. The relative skill of the striker shall be taken into consideration.

(ii) Any delivery which, after pitching, passes or would have passed over head height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease, although not threatening physical injury, shall be included with bowling under (i) above, both when the umpire is considering whether the bowling of fast short pitched balls has become dangerous and unfair and after he has so decided. The umpire shall call and signal No ball for each such delivery.

(b) Bowling of high full pitched balls

(i) Any delivery, other than a slow paced one, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.

(ii) A slow delivery which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.

7. Dangerous and unfair bowling - action by the umpire

(a) As soon as the bowler’s end umpire decides under 6(a) above that the bowling of fast short pitched balls has become dangerous and unfair, or, except as in 8 below, there is an instance of dangerous and unfair bowling as defined in 6(b) above, he shall call and signal No ball. When the ball is dead, he shall caution the bowler, inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batsmen of what has occurred. This caution shall apply throughout the innings.

(b) If there is any further instance of dangerous and unfair bowling by the same bowler in that innings, the umpire shall repeat the above procedure and indicate to the bowler that this is a final warning.

This warning shall also apply throughout the innings.

(c) Should there be any further repetition by the same bowler in that innings, the umpire shall call and signal No ball and

(i) when the ball is dead direct the captain to suspend the bowler forthwith and inform the other umpire of the reason for this action.

The bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.

If applicable, the over shall be completed by another bowler, who shall neither have bowled any part of the previous over, nor be allowed to bowl any part of the next over.

Additionally he shall

(ii) report the occurrence to the batsmen and, as soon as practicable, to the captain of the batting side.

(iii) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and bowler concerned.

8. Deliberate bowling of high full pitched balls

If the umpire considers that a bowler deliberately bowled a high full pitched ball, deemed to be dangerous and unfair as defined in 6(b) above, then the caution and warning prescribed in 7 above shall be dispensed with. The umpire shall

(a) (i) call and signal No ball.

(ii) when the ball is dead direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler forthwith.

The bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.

If applicable, the over shall be completed by another bowler, who shall neither have bowled any part of the previous over, nor be allowed to bowl any part of the next over.

(iii) inform the other umpire of the reason for this action.

(b) report the occurrence to the batsmen and, as soon as practicable, to the captain of the batting side.

(c) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and bowler concerned.

9. Time wasting by the fielding side

It is unfair for any fielder to waste time.

(a) If either umpire considers that the progress of an over is unnecessarily slow, or time is being wasted in any other way, by the captain of the fielding side or by any other fielder, at the first instance the umpire concerned shall

(i) if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball.

(ii) inform the other umpire of what has occurred.

(b) The bowler’s end umpire shall then,

(i) warn the captain of the fielding side, indicating that this is a first and final warning.

(ii) inform the batsmen of what has occurred.

(c) If either umpire considers that there is any further waste of time in that innings by any fielder, he shall

(i) if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball.

(ii) inform the other umpire of what has occurred.

The bowler’s end umpire shall,

(iii) either, if the waste of time is not during an over, award 5 penalty runs to the batting side and inform the captain of the fielding side of the reason for this action

or, if the waste of time is during the course of an over, direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler forthwith. The bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.

If applicable, the over shall be completed by another bowler, who shall neither have bowled any part of the previous over, nor be allowed to bowl any part of the next over.

(iv) inform the batsmen and, as soon as is practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

(v) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and team concerned.

10. Batsman wasting time

It is unfair for a batsman to waste time. In normal circumstances, the striker should always be ready to take strike when the bowler is ready to start his run up.

(a) Should either batsman waste time by failing to meet this requirement, or in any other way, the following procedure shall be adopted. At the first instance, either before the bowler starts his run up or when the ball becomes dead, as appropriate, the umpire shall

(i) warn both batsmen and indicate that this is a first and final warning. This warning shall apply throughout the innings. The umpire shall so inform each incoming batsman.

(ii) inform the other umpire of what has occurred.

(iii) inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

(b) If there is any further time wasting by any batsman in that innings, the umpire shall, at the appropriate time while the ball is dead

(i) award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side.

(ii) inform the other umpire of the reason for this action.

(iii) inform the other batsman, the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

(iv) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the batting side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and player or players and, if appropriate, team concerned.

11. Damaging the pitch - area to be protected

(a) It is incumbent on all players to avoid unnecessary damage to the pitch. A player will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considers that his presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause.

It is unfair to cause deliberate damage to the pitch.

(b) An area of the pitch, to be referred to as ‘the protected area’, is defined as that area contained within a rectangle bounded at each end by imaginary lines parallel to the popping creases and 5 ft/1.52 m front of each, and on the sides by imaginary lines, one each side of the imaginary line joining the centres of the two middle stumps, each parallel to it and 1 ft/30.48 cm from it.

12. Bowler running on protected area after delivering the ball

(a) A bowler will contravene this Law if he runs on to the protected area, either after delivering the ball or, if he fails to release the ball, after the completion of his delivery swing and delivery stride. See 11 above, Law 23.4(viii) (Umpire calling and signalling Dead ball) and Appendix D.

(b) If, as defined in (a) above, the bowler contravenes this Law, at the first instance and when the ball is dead, the umpire shall

(i) caution the bowler and inform the other umpire of what has occurred.

This caution shall apply throughout the innings.

(ii) inform the captain of the fielding side and the batsmen of what has occurred.

(c) If, in that innings, the same bowler again contravenes this Law, the umpire shall repeat the above procedure indicating that this is a final warning. This warning shall also apply throughout the innings.

(d) If in that innings the same bowler contravenes this Law a third time, the umpire shall,

(i) when the ball is dead, direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler forthwith.

The bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.
If applicable, the over shall be completed by another bowler, who shall neither have bowled any part of the previous over, nor be allowed to bowl any part of the next over.

(ii) inform the other umpire of the reason for this action.

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

(iv) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and bowler concerned.

13. Fielder damaging the pitch

(a) If any fielder causes avoidable damage to the pitch, other than as in 12(a) above, at the first instance the umpire seeing the contravention shall, when the ball is dead, inform the other umpire. The bowler’s end umpire shall then

(i) caution the captain of the fielding side and indicate that this is a first and final warning. This warning shall apply throughout the innings.

(ii) inform the batsmen of what has occurred.

(b) If, in that innings, there is any further instance of avoidable damage to the pitch, by any fielder, the umpire seeing the contravention shall, when the ball is dead, inform the other umpire. The bowler’s end umpire shall then

(i) award 5 penalty runs to the batting side.

Additionally he shall,

(ii) inform the fielding captain of the reason for this action.

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

(iv) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the fielding side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and player or players concerned.

14. Batsman damaging the pitch

(a) If either batsman causes avoidable damage to the pitch, at the first instance the umpire seeing the contravention shall, when the ball is dead, inform the other umpire of the occurrence. The bowler’s end umpire shall then

(i) warn both batsmen that the practice is unfair and indicate that this is a first and final warning. This warning shall apply throughout the innings. The umpire shall so inform each incoming batsman.

(ii) inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

(b) If there is any further instance of avoidable damage to the pitch by any batsman in that innings, the umpire seeing the contravention shall, when the ball is dead, inform the other umpire of the occurrence. The bowler’s end umpire shall then

(i) disallow all runs to the batting side from that delivery other than the penalty for a No ball or a Wide, if applicable.

(ii) additionally, award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side.

(iii) return the batsmen to their original ends.

(iv) inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

(c) The umpires together shall report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the batting side and to any Governing Body for the match who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and player or players concerned.

15. Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery

The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over.
If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible.

16. Batsman stealing a run

It is unfair for the batsmen to attempt to steal a run during the bowler’s run up. Unless the bowler attempts to run out either batsman - see 15 above and Law 24.4 (Bowler throwing towards striker’s end before delivery) - the umpire shall

(i) call and signal Dead ball as soon as the batsmen cross in such an attempt.

(ii) inform the other umpire of the reason for this action.

(iii) return the batsmen to their original ends.

(iv) award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side.

(v) inform the batsmen, the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side, of the reason for this action.

(vi) together with the other umpire report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the batting side and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and players concerned.

17. Penalty runs

(a) When penalty runs are awarded to either side, when the ball is dead the umpire shall signal the penalty runs to the scorers. See Law 3.14 (Signals).

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions, of Law 21.6 (Winning hit or extras), penalty runs shall be awarded in each case where the Laws require the award.

Note, however, that the restrictions on awarding penalty runs, in Laws 26.3 (Leg byes not to be awarded), 34.4 (Runs scored from ball lawfully struck more than once) and Law 41.4 (Penalty runs not to be awarded), will apply.

(c) When 5 penalty runs are awarded to the batting side under any of Laws 2.6 (Player returning without permission), 41.2 (Fielding the ball), or 41.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side) or under 3, 4, 5, 9 or 13 above, then

(i) they shall be scored as penalty extras and shall be in addition to any other penalties.

(ii) they are awarded when the ball is dead and shall not be regarded as runs scored from either the immediately preceding delivery or the immediately following delivery, and shall be in addition to any runs from those deliveries.

(iii) the batsmen shall not change ends solely by reason of the 5 run penalty.

(d) When 5 penalty runs are awarded to the fielding side, under Law 18.5(b) (Deliberate short runs), or under 10, 14 or 16 above, they shall be added as penalty extras to that side’s total of runs in its most recently completed innings. If the fielding side has not completed an innings, the 5 penalty runs shall be added to the score in its next innings.

18. Players’ conduct

If there is any breach of the Spirit of the Game
either in the case of an unfair action not covered by the Laws, under 2 above,
or by a player,
either failing to comply with the instructions of an umpire,
or criticising an umpire’s decisions by word or action,
or showing dissent,
or generally behaving in a manner which might bring the game into disrepute,
the umpire concerned shall immediately report the matter to the other umpire.

The umpires together shall,

(i) inform the player’s captain of the occurrence, instructing the latter to take action.

(ii) warn him of the gravity of the offence, and tell him it will be reported to higher authority.

(iii) report the occurrence as soon as possible after the match to the Executive of the player’s team and to any Governing Body responsible for the match, who shall take such action as is considered appropriate against the captain and player or players and, if appropriate, team concerned.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2013


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