37.1 Out Obstructing the field
37.1.1 Either batter 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 batter shall not be out Obstructing the field if the obstruction or distraction is accidental,
or the 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
37.3.1 If the delivery is not a No ball, the striker is out Obstructing the field if wilful obstruction or distraction by either batter prevents the striker being out Caught.
37.3.2 37.3.1 shall apply even if an 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).
37.3.3 If an obstruction or distraction takes place from a No ball then the batter who caused the obstruction or distraction will be out Obstructing the field.
However, the striker is not out if the obstruction of a catch occurs while defending his/her wicket from a No ball with a lawful second strike.
37.4 Returning the ball to a fielder
Either batter 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 batter is dismissed Obstructing the field,
37.5.1 unless the obstruction or distraction prevents the striker being out Caught, any runs completed by the batters before the offence shall be scored, together with any one-run Penalty for No ball or Wide, or any other award of 5 Penalty runs to either side. See Laws 18.6 (Runs awarded for penalties) and 18.8 (Runs scored when a batter is dismissed).
37.5.2 if the obstruction or distraction prevents the striker being out Caught, any runs completed by the batters shall not be scored but any award of 5 Penalty runs to either side shall stand. Law 18.11 (Batter returning to original end) will apply.
37.6 Bowler does not get credit
The bowler does not get credit for the wicket.
© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017