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Law 41

Unfair play

Unfair Play Back to laws

41.1    Fair and unfair play -- responsibility of captains
The captains are responsible for ensuring that play is conducted within The Spirit of Cricket, as described in The Preamble -- The Spirit of Cricket, as well as within the Laws.

41.2    Unfair actions
41.2.1    The umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play. If an umpire considers that any action by a player, not covered in the Laws, is unfair, he/she shall call and signal Dead ball, if appropriate, as soon as it becomes clear that the call will not disadvantage the non-offending side, and report the matter to the other umpire.
41.2.1.1    If this is a first offence by that side, the bowler's end umpire shall then
summon the offending player's captain and issue a first and final warning which shall apply to all members of the team for the remainder of the match.
warn the offending player's captain that any further such offence by any member of his/her team shall result in the award of 5 Penalty runs to the opposing team.
41.2.1.2    If this is a second or subsequent offence by that side, the bowler's end umpire shall then
summon the offending player's captain and inform him/her that there has been a further such offence.
award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing side
41.2.1.3    The umpires together shall report the incident 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.

41.3    The match ball -- changing its condition
41.3.1    The umpires shall make frequent and irregular inspections of the ball. In addition, they shall immediately inspect the ball if they suspect anyone of attempting to change the condition of the ball, except as permitted in 41.3.2.
41.3.2    It is an offence for any player to take any action which changes the condition of the ball.
Except in carrying out his/her normal duties, a batter is not allowed to wilfully damage the ball. See also Law 5.5 (Damage to the ball).
A fielder may, however
41.3.2.1    polish the ball on his/her clothing provided that no artificial substance is used, that the only natural substance used is sweat, and that such polishing wastes no time.
41.3.2.2    remove mud from the ball under the supervision of an umpire.
41.3.2.3    dry a wet ball on a piece of cloth that has been approved by the umpires.
41.3.3    The umpires shall consider the condition of the ball to have been unfairly changed if any action by any player does not comply with the conditions in 41.3.2.
41.3.4    If the umpires consider that the condition of the ball has been unfairly changed by a member or members of either side, they shall ask the captain of the opposing side if he/she would like the ball to be replaced. If necessary, in the case of the batting side, the batters at the wicket may deputise for their captain.
41.3.4.1    If a replacement ball is requested, the umpires shall select and bring into use immediately, a ball which shall have wear comparable to that of the previous ball immediately prior to the contravention.
41.3.4.2    Regardless of whether a replacement ball has been chosen to be used, the bowler's end umpire shall

- award 5 Penalty runs to the opposing side.
- if appropriate, inform the batters at the wicket and the captain of the fielding side that the ball has been changed and the reason for their action.

- inform the captain of the batting side as soon as practicable 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.
41.3.5    If the umpires agree that in the match there has been any further instance by that team of unfairly changing the condition of the ball, they shall
41.3.5.1    repeat the procedure in 41.3.4.1 and 41.3.4.2.
If the further offence is committed by the fielding side, additionally the bowler's end umpire shall
41.3.5.2    direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend immediately from bowling the bowler who delivered the preceding ball; he/she shall not be allowed to bowl again in the match.
inform the batters at the wicket and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of the reason for the action.
if necessary, 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.
 
41.4    Deliberate attempt to distract striker
41.4.1    It is unfair for any fielder deliberately to attempt to distract the striker while he/she is preparing to receive or receiving a delivery.
41.4.2    If either umpire considers that any action by a fielder is such an attempt, he/she shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call.
The bowler's end umpire shall
award 5 Penalty runs to the batting side.
inform the captain of the fielding side, the batters and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of the reason for the action.
Neither batter shall be dismissed from that delivery and the ball shall not count as one of the over. However, if either umpire had reason to call and signal No ball, he/she shall do so regardless of the attempt to distract, and this call shall stand.
Together with the other umpire 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.

41.5    Deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of batter
41.5.1    In addition to 41.4, it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batter after the striker has received the ball.
41.5.2    It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not.
 
41.5.3    If either umpire considers that a fielder has caused or attempted to cause such a distraction, deception or obstruction, he/she shall immediately call and signal Dead ball and inform the other umpire of the reason for the call.
41.5.4    Neither batter shall be dismissed from that delivery.
41.5.5    If an obstruction involves physical contact, the umpires together shall decide whether or not an offence under Law 42 (Players' conduct) has been committed.
41.5.5.1    If an offence under Law 42 (Players' conduct) has been committed, they shall apply the relevant procedures in Law 42 and shall also apply each of
41.5.7 to 41.5.9.
41.5.5.2    If they consider that there has been no offence under Law 42 (Players' conduct), they shall apply each of 41.5.6 to 41.5.10.
41.5.6    The bowler's end umpire shall Signal No ball or Wide to the scorers, if applicable, award 5 Penalty runs to the batting side, 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.
41.5.7    The ball shall not count as one of the over.
41.5.8    Any runs completed by the batters 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 batters had already crossed at the instant of the offence.
41.5.9    The batters at the wicket shall decide which of them is to face the next delivery.
41.5.10    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.

41.6    Bowling of dangerous and unfair short pitched deliveries
41.6.1    The bowling of short pitched deliveries is dangerous if the bowler's end umpire considers that, taking into
consideration the skill of the striker, by their speed, length, height and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on him/her. The fact that the striker is wearing protective equipment shall be disregarded.
41.6.2    The bowler's end umpire may consider that the bowling of short pitched deliveries, although not dangerous under 41.6.1, is unfair if they repeatedly pass above head height of
the striker standing upright at the crease. See also Law 21.10 (Ball bouncing over head height of striker).
41.6.3    As soon as the umpire decides that the bowling of short pitched deliveries has become dangerous under 41.6.1, or unfair under 41.6.2, he/she shall call and signal No ball.
When the ball is dead, the umpire shall caution the bowler, indicating that this is a first and final warning, and inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batters of what has occurred.
This caution shall apply to that bowler throughout the innings.
41.6.4    Should there be any further such delivery by the same bowler in that innings, the umpire shall
- call and signal No ball
- when the ball is dead, direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler immediately from bowling          - inform the other umpire for 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.
- The umpire shall inform the batters and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side.
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.
41.6.5    The warning sequence in 41.6.3 and 41.6.4 is independent of the warning and action sequence in 41.7.

41.7    Bowling of dangerous and unfair non-pitching deliveries
41.7.1    Any delivery, which passes or would have passed, without pitching, above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease, is unfair. Whenever such a delivery is bowled, the umpire shall call and signal No ball.
41.7.2    The bowling of a delivery as defined in 41.7.1 is also dangerous if the bowler's end umpire considers that there is a risk of injury to the striker. In making that judgement the umpire shall:
- disregard any protective equipment worn by the striker be mindful of:
- the speed, height and direction of the delivery the skill of the striker
- the repeated nature of such deliveries.
41.7.3    If the umpire considers a non-pitching delivery, or a series of non-pitching deliveries, to be dangerous under 41.7.2, when the ball is dead, the umpire shall repeat the No ball signal to the scorers and then caution the bowler, indicating that this is a first and final warning. The umpire shall also inform the other umpire, the captain of the fielding side and the batters of what has occurred. This caution shall apply to that bowler throughout the innings.
41.7.4    Should there be any further dangerous such delivery by the same bowler in that innings, the umpire shall
call and signal No ball
when the ball is dead, direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler immediately from bowling
inform the other umpire for 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, the umpire shall
inform the batters and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side.
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.
41.7.5    The warning and action sequences in 41.7.3 and 41.7.4 are independent of those in 41.6.
41.7.6    If the umpire considers that a bowler deliberately bowled a non-pitching delivery, deemed to be unfair as defined in 41.7.1, then the caution and warning in 41.7.3 shall be dispensed with. The umpire shall
immediately call and signal No ball.
when the ball is dead, direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler immediately from bowling and inform the other umpire for 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.
inform the batters and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side.
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.
 
41.8    Bowling of deliberate front-foot No ball
If the umpire considers that the bowler has delivered a deliberate front-foot No ball, he/she shall
- immediately call and signal No ball.
- when the ball is dead, direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler immediately from bowling         - inform the other umpire for 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.
- inform the batters and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side.
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.

41.9    Time wasting by the fielding side
41.9.1    It is unfair for any fielder to waste time.
41.9.2    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
- if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball.

- inform the other umpire of what has occurred.
The bowler's end umpire shall then
- warn the captain of the fielding side, indicating that this is a first and final warning.
- inform the batters of what has occurred.
41.9.3    If either umpire considers that there is any further waste of time in that innings by any fielder, the umpire concerned shall
if the ball is in play, call and signal Dead ball. inform the other umpire of what has occurred.
The bowler's end umpire shall then
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 immediately from bowling.
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 the umpire shall inform the batters and, as soon as is 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.
 
41.10    Batter wasting time
41.10.1    It is unfair for a batter to waste time. In normal circumstances, the striker should always be ready to take strike when the bowler is ready to start his/her run-up.
41.10.2    Should either batter 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/her run-up or when the ball becomes dead, as appropriate, the umpire shall
- warn both batters and indicate that this is a first and final warning. This warning shall apply throughout the innings. The umpire shall so inform each incoming batter.
- inform the other umpire of what has occurred.                                                                                                           - inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.
41.10.3    If there is any further time wasting by any batter in that innings, the umpire shall, at the appropriate time while the ball is dead

- award 5 Penalty runs to the fielding side.
- inform the other umpire of the reason for this action. i

- nform the other batter, the captain of the fielding side and, as soon aspracticable, 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.
 
41.11    The protected area
The protected area is defined as that area of the pitch contained within a rectangle bounded at each end by imaginary lines parallel to the popping creases and 5 ft/1.52 m in 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.

41.12    Fielder damaging the pitch
41.12.1    It is unfair to cause deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch. A fielder will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considers that his/her presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause.
41.12.2    If a fielder causes deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch, other than as in 41.13.1, 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
caution the captain of the fielding side and indicate that this is a first and final warning. This warning shall apply throughout the innings.
inform the batters of what has occurred.
41.12.3    If, in that innings, there is any further instance of deliberate or 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
signal No ball or Wide to the scorers, if applicable. award 5 Penalty runs to the batting side.
award any other 5-run Penalty that is applicable.
inform the fielding captain of the reason for this action. inform the batters 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.

41.13    Bowler running on protected area
41.13.1    It is unfair for a bowler to enter the protected area in his/her follow-through without reasonable cause, whether or not the ball is delivered.
41.13.2    If a bowler contravenes this Law, at the first instance and when the ball is dead, the umpire shall
caution the bowler and inform the other umpire of what has occurred. This caution shall apply to that bowler throughout the innings.
inform the captain of the fielding side and the batters of what has occurred.
41.13.3    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.
41.13.4    If, in that innings, the same bowler contravenes this Law a third time, when the ball is dead, the umpire shall,
direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler immediately from bowling. 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. The bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings.
inform the other umpire of the reason for this action. inform the batters 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.

41.14    Batter damaging the pitch
41.14.1    It is unfair to cause deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch. If the striker enters the protected area in playing or playing at the ball, he/she must move from it immediately thereafter. A batter will be deemed to be causing avoidable damage if either umpire considers that his/her presence on the pitch is without reasonable cause.
41.14.2    If either batter causes deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch, other than as in 41.15, 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
warn both batters 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 batter.
inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred
 
41.14.3    If there is any further instance of deliberate or avoidable damage to the pitch by any batter 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 disallow all runs to the batting side
return any not out batter to his/her original end signal No ball or Wide to the scorers if applicable. award 5 Penalty runs to the fielding side.
award any other 5-run Penalty that is applicable except for Penalty runs under Law 28.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side).
inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of the reason for this action.
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.

41.15    Striker in protected area
41.15.1    The striker shall not adopt a batting position in the protected area or so close to it that frequent encroachment is inevitable.
The striker may make a mark on the pitch, for the purpose of indicating his/her batting position, provided that no mark is unreasonably close to the protected area.
 
41.15.2    If there is breach of any of the conditions in 41.15.1 by the striker, the umpire seeing the contravention shall, if the bowler has not entered his/her delivery stride, immediately call and signal Dead ball, otherwise, he/she shall wait until the ball is dead and then inform the other umpire of the occurrence.
The bowler's end umpire shall then
warn the striker 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 the non-striker and each incoming batter.
inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.
41.15.3    If there is any further breach of any of the conditions in
41.15.1 by any batter in that innings, the umpire seeing the contravention shall, if the bowler has not entered his/ her delivery stride, immediately call and signal Dead ball,
otherwise, he/she shall wait until the ball is dead and then inform the other umpire of the occurrence.
The bowler's end umpire shall then disallow all runs to the batting side
return any not out batter to his/her original end signal No ball or Wide to the scorers if applicable. award 5 Penalty runs to the fielding side.
award any other 5-run Penalty that is applicable except for Penalty runs under Law 28.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side).
inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of the reason for this action.
 
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

41.16    Batters stealing a run
It is unfair for the batters to attempt to steal a run during the bowler's run-up. Unless the bowler attempts to run out the non-striker -- see Law 38.3 (Non-striker leaving his/her ground early) -- the umpire shall
- call and signal Dead ball as soon as the batters cross in such an attempt.
- inform the other umpire of the reason for this action.
The bowler's end umpire shall then

- return the batters to their original ends and disallow the attempted run.
- award 5 Penalty runs to the fielding side.
- award any other 5-run Penalty that is applicable.
- inform the batters, the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side, of the reason for this action.
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.
 
41.17    Penalty runs
41.17.1    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 2.13 (Signals).
41.17.2    Penalty runs shall be awarded in each case where the Laws require the award, even if a result has already been achieved. See Law 16.6 (Winning hit or extras).
Note, however, that the restrictions on awarding Penalty runs, in Laws 23.3 (Leg byes not to be awarded), 25.7 (Restriction on the striker's runner), 28.3 (Protective helmets belonging to the fielding side) and 34.4 (Runs permitted from ball lawfully struck more than once) will apply.
41.17.3    When 5 Penalty runs are awarded to the batting side, they shall be scored as Penalty extras and shall be in addition to any other penalties.
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. the batters shall not change ends solely by reason of the 5-run penalty.
41.17.4    When 5 Penalty runs are awarded to the fielding side, 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.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

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