Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Now that is one rubbish rule! With India requiring 1 run to win the match, Sri Lankan off-spinner (the man with a delivery stride as large as my normal step) bowled a no-ball that was dispatched by Sehwag (99*) over the long off fence for a six. But as per the laws of our beloved game, the six runs did not count and the game was deemed finished as soon as the no-ball was bowled.

This is a stupid law for the following reasons:

1. If the runs are not going to be counted, then why count the ball in Sehwag's numbers? Before that ball, Sehwag was 99* of 99 balls... and after that ball, he finished with 99* of 100 balls.

2. Had the six off a no-ball been scored on any other occasion during the match, then the 6 would have been credited to the batsman. Why should it be any different for the winning runs?

I can understand a need for such a rule (for the winning runs) in this scenario: the chasing team needs 1 to win with 1 wicket in hand and the batsman is stumped of a wide / no-ball. Since one can't have a situation where a team wins by 0 wickets, we need to have a different rule for finishing the game. But that rule should be in respect of dismissals, not runs. Had Sehwag hit that six (off a no-ball) when 2 were needed to win, then the runs would have been counted in his tally. Then why should it be any different when its 1 to win?

3. India eventually finished with 171, and not 177. The 6 runs that have not been considered may well affect the Net Run Rate scenario. If not in this series, such a situation may occur in other multi-team tournaments.

Imagine a situation where AB De Villiers hits a 6 off a no-ball when 1 is needed to win in South Africa's first match of the World Cup 2011. But only the no-ball counts and the 6 runs are wasted. If South Africa were to bow out of the World Cup 2011 in the Group stage due to NRR and it is discovered that those 6 runs would have helped them qualify, then it would have created an uproar! The tag of 'chokers' would have stuck to them due to no apparent fault of theirs... just because of a stupid and illogical law!

4. Most importantly, when the umpire signals a no-ball, the ball is still in play. It does not become dead. Till the ball is dead, all the activities that occur within the field of play should be recorded... irrespective of whether it is the 1st ball of the match or it is 1 run needed to win.

I really do hope that MCC changes this law at the earliest. The fact that Sehwag missed out on a well-deserved 100 is not as important as the controversy that might happen due to this rule if that hypothetical-South-Africa-situation were to really occur!


Siddharth said...

Gr8 Analysis

Shridhar Jaju said...

Thank you!

jimmymycrushie said...

I agree with the law, India won as soon as the no ball was bowled. Now suppose, a team needs 2 runs for victory and they take a couple, game over. Would they run for a third? The batsman could score more and the delivery is counted in his innings. It wouldn't make sense if they would run for a third. I remember an England game in which broady and sidey were batting, they took the runs and Lankans appealed. But would be weird had it been referred to the 3rd umpire. I think they had appealed for a run out. I can't remember exactly.

Shridhar Jaju said...

Jimmymycrushie, you make a good point about batsmen running a third run when only 2 are needed for a win. But it is in such cases that the law needs to be amended.

The law needs to think of cases in which a batsman can be dismissed after the win is complete (like the case you were mentioning). And then, these situations can be disallowed by the law. But a boundary shot is a boundary shot. A batsman may need to intentionally go for a boundary when 1 is needed to win to secure a win with a better NRR. A fielding team can easily counter it by bowling a no-ball. That is not acceptable!