Ashwin’s Mankad to Steve Waugh’s Handball: Some little known cricket laws

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in this country and played in practically every nook and corner of India. Every young kid is well aware of most of the rules in the game but not everyone can claim that they know it all.  

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who are the custodians of the rules of cricket, have explained each and every rule involved with the game. Here we take a look at some of the little known rules around the game of cricket. 

1. Lost Ball 

Cricket has been getting faster and more action-packed since the advent of T20 and now even T10 format of the game. With bats getting heavier by the day, the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, AB de Villiers and Hardik Pandya have the ability to send the ball into orbit and outside the stadium 

If the ball is lost in such a situation, the fielding side can call it a ‘lost ball’. The delivery is then called dead and the umpires ask for another ball that is similar to the number of overs old, the previous ball was. The batsmen are then awarded runs according to the number of runs that they have managed to score on the previous ball. If the batsman has not hit the lost ball, the runs go down as extras. 

2. No Appeal 

There have been many occasions where due to different noises like those made by the crowd, sometimes the ball edged by the batsman is not heard by the umpire and the batsman are given a reprieve. Although DRS has solved that issue as players can review the umpire’s decision, it is a completely different case when the players on the field themselves do not appeal for a decision. 

According to the law, a batsman cannot be given out by the umpire even if he is, until the fielding team appeals for it. The batsman however, has the freedom to walk away showing sportsman spirit. However, it is crucial for the fielding team to appeal. Else, the umpire is well within his rights to call the batsman back and declare the ball as a dead ball. 

3. Mankading 

The term ‘Mankading’ came into existence for the first time when legendary Indian all-rounder Vinod Mankad dismissed an Australian batsman Bill Brown during a Test match in 1947. The rule states that the batsman at the non-striker’s end can only leave his crease once the bowler has released the ball. 

However, for gaining a bit of a start, batsmen generally tend to move out of their crease a bit earlier than usual. Since Mankading is not considered by many to be in the spirit of the game, it was not seen happening frequently. However, the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin mankading Jos Buttler in the IPL 2019 season sparked a debate on whether mankading is fair or not.  

4. Restricting an injured player 

Cricketers often used to take advantage of loophole in the rules and used to sit out while fielding for a considerable amount of time under the excuse that they were suffering from an injury. However, a new rule has come into force which has it mandatory for the player to inform the umpire about the genuine reason for leaving the field. 

If a player leaves the field for more than 15 minutes, he won’t be allowed to bat/bowl for that much amount of time in the next innings of the game. This rule considerably reduced the players taking advantage of the rule. But this is where the grey area sets in.  

5. Handling the ball 

Handling the ball is something that has always been a grey area as far as the law was concerned. While the law says that if a batsman tries to handle the ball intentionally, the umpire is well within his rights to adjudge him out. Batsmen might have handled it to prevent an injury by the ball coming towards him. These things might make it difficult for an umpire to give an impartial decision. 

Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh was famously out handling the ball in the 2001 series against India. Waugh was out handling off Harbhajan Singh in the third and final Test in Chennai, which India went on to win. 

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Sagar Biswas

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