Tuesday, August 17, 2010


As the controversy surrounding "A Six That Did Not Count" is slowly subsiding, I decided to look into a few cricket laws that I think should be changed. Here is my list:

1. The first one obviously relates to the Viru's 99* incident. As I have written in my last blog "A SIX THAT DID NOT COUNT", this law should be looked into by the MCC since the batsman is not at fault if the bowler bowls an illegal delivery. He has hit a legitimate cricket shot... and should be awarded its worth in runs. I have also analysed a hypothetical situation in that blog regarding how those six less runs might affect the Net Run Rate scenarios in multi-team tournaments.

2. Similar to the previous one, there is another law that says that when a team needs 1 to win and the batsman hits a 4 or a 6, only 1 run will be awarded if the batsmen cross before the ball reaches the boundary. Again, for the same reasons as stated above and in my previous blog, this rule needs to 
be changed by MCC.

3. Now the next law that I state was also seen in action during the India - Sri Lanka ODI and was mentioned by Achettup on his blog - "Short Of A Length". Sehwag was bowled on a Free Hit by Malinga. And what resulted eventually was a single that was classified as a 'bye'. Have you not favoured batsmen enough by allowing a 'Free Hit'? If the batsman cannot utilise it well, it is his fault. Why should the bowler be punished if he has uprooted the stumps? I can understand if the batsmen run for a single after being bowled off a no-ball, since a 'no-ball' is an illegal delivery. But as Achettup mentions, a Free Hit is a legal delivery and the ball should be dead once it hits the stumps and a dot ball should result in such a case.

4. The law of Free Hit was introduced to make the game more interesting. But what I don't understand is why is the fielding team not allowed to change the field on a Free Hit! The batsman is going to look for a slog irrespective of where the field is set... so why not allow for a change of field! Who knows, an astute captain (a rare thing, these days) might set a good field for a run out. And I can assure you that a run out on a Free Hit will make the game a lot more interesting than a Six or a Four. It will give us bloggers something more to blog on. Many batsmen hit boundaries on Free Hits, but how many get dismissed on one!?

5. This one is something that has been in my mind for a long time now. When a batsman dives in to make his ground, his bat sometimes pops up and as a result, he is declared 'Out'. That is a correct decision! But in all that, one thing is overlooked. More often than not, it so happens that the toe of the bat touches the ground inside the crease before the bat pops up. So when the bails are dislodged, the bat is in the air and the batsman is Out. But we tend to forget that when the bat was grounded inside the crease for that nanosecond, the run was complete. The run out was effected after the run was completed. But I have never seen the run credited to the team when such decisions are declared 'Out'. Who knows what difference that 1 run might make at the end of an important match!

Viewers are invited to post some of their insights on my observations in the form of comments. If there is another law that you feel is unfair, please let me know by your comments. I will compile another set of such laws and post another blog on this issue if need be.


Freehit said...

Totally agree with you on all of the five.Particularly the 1st and the 5th.

Soulberry said...

Points one and two are fair enough.

If you permit me to disagree, I shall do so with points 3 and 5.

As regards point 3, I would be loathe to tinker with the dead ball rule unless it is universally applied to all legal deliveries and not just limited to Free Hit ball. The argument of double punishment, again if you permit me to disagree, doesn't hold water - the bowler has been punished for bowling a no ball and the byes or overthrows are penalty for the team. That penalty to the team is because that is how the laws have described it. If change is to be instituted, let it include all legal deliveries and overthrows or byes be disallowed for all legal deliveries and not just the spot case of Free Hit just because bowler has already been punished. Let the ball be dead in cricket the moment it touches the wickets.

What then if it came off the pad? Would leg byes be permitted by this discussion? Off legal and illegal deliveries and Free Hits? Since the bowler has been penalized, a case may be there to declare the ball dead the moment it touches something - wicket or batsman's body and apparatus.

The Free Hit was indeed introduced to check the menace of no balls and all were agreed to some method of penalty - what shape it takes was up for wise minds of the game, and they came up with Free Hit as a solution.

Point 5 would have to be incorporated into the line-call replays. There are recommendation to that effect if I am not mistaken. Till those recommendations are part, I guess things will be as they are.

Point 4 - well Free Hit is meant as a penalty and the idea must have been to replicate the situation. The idea behind Free Hit was to penalize the bowler and fielding team...not to evenly spread the punishment. We could do away with it instead of complicating it. But this is a new invention and could be open for discussion as regards improvements.

Anonymous said...

I am doing research for my college thesis, thanks for your brilliant points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

- Laura