Hands up if you know what Law 27.1 of cricket says. Anyone? Someone did last night, as the Law caused ridiculous scenes at the Adelaide Oval.
As the Adelaide Strikers lost to the Perth Scorchers on a summer evening, cricket’s laws were enforced correctly. But Law 27.1 needs to be rewritten immediately.
No, this isn’t a protest against authority, but a call for logic to prevail.
The Strikers were 5 for 51 and chasing 190 to win when Kane Richardson swivelled in his crease.
His right leg hit the base of middle and leg stump, and the wicket lit up like a Christmas tree on December 1st.
Logic tells you that Richardson should have been given out. Well he was, briefly, but after a minute, he wasn’t.
Yes, that’s right. Richardson made it to the boundary before being recalled to the crease.
Why? Because nobody from the Scorchers appealed to the umpires. It seems farcical, but the umpires were actually 100% right.
Law 27.1 of cricket says: “Neither umpire shall give a batsman out, even though he may be out under the laws, unless appealed to by a fielder. This shall not debar a batsman who is out under any of the laws from leaving his wicket without an appeal having been made.”
So, under that logic, a batsman could be cleaned bowled, and unless someone from the fielding team appeals, he’s not out.
That’s right. Put the bails back on and let’s play.
What is considered an appeal was also shoved into the spotlight.
Adam Voges was wearing a microphone for the Fox Sports coverage and revealed that wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt asked the umpires if they “could have a look at that, but obviously that doesn’t constitute an appeal.”
Law 27.4 actually instructs cricketers on how to appeal. It advises that “How’s that?” covers all potential ways of getting out.
In that case, the Scorchers only have themselves to blame.
Somebody should’ve appealed, but it’s once again a case of Big Bash cricket having to abide by the etiquette of something far more formal.
It’s like the kid who rocks up to a wedding wearing clothes more suited to a rock concert.
We have players wearing microphones and stumps that light up; surely we can have a man who treads on his wicket given out without the need for an appeal.
T20 cricket was designed to be sports entertainment. It was meant to be for the masses. Try explaining Law 27.1 with a straight face to a new fan.
That said, this type of scene would surely still excite comment if it took place during the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The law needs to be changed, although after this, it’s doubtful anyone in the BBL will make the mistake of not appealing again.