Cricket’s old laws have no place in Big Bash

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    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.

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    The Crowd Says (68)

    • Roar Guru

      January 11th 2013 @ 6:54am
      sheek said | January 11th 2013 @ 6:54am | ! Report

      Hi Luke,

      I think the answer to your query is quite simple. When the laws were first written back in the 1800s or whenever, stumps didn’t light up like Xmas trees (unless perhaps when hit by a lightning bolt).

      The problem is the players, who have become lazy by allowing technology to take over such mundane tasks as appealing.

      However, having not seen the incident you don’t mention if the bails were dislodged or not. Perhaps the stumps only light up if the bails are dislodged? Part of a dismissal is the dislodgment of the bails.

      Anyway, it’s a good lesson for us all. People get lost with their car GPS when looking out the window might provide the clue to their intended direction. I often wonder how much people are missing out on around them when they have their faces stuck into their mobile phones.

      I actually find the situation you describe above hilariously funny. The joke’s on us…..

      • Roar Guru

        January 11th 2013 @ 11:28am
        TheGenuineTailender said | January 11th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        The bails were dislodged but it was late in the act of playing a pull. I can imagine there’s a good chance none of the fielders were actually looking/saw what happened. There peripherals may have noticed the stumps lighting up and thus a stifled question was asked. I guess, “can you have a look at that” should have been considered enough to dismiss the batsman.

        Kudos to Katich for recalling him.

    • January 11th 2013 @ 7:17am
      Red Kev said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      I like the law. In junior cricket, I had an umpire pull me aside and explain that law after I had a batsman plum lbw but only offered a half appeal that was abortes when I saw no-one else go up (hey I was 15).
      However if Richardson left his wicket surely that counts as out, although it might be recorded as retired out rather than out hit wicket.
      Shame I didn’t see the match.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 7:46am
        Matt F said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:46am | ! Report

        I was given not out as a 10 year old (or around that age) when caught behind because the other team didn’t appeal. The umpire, who was either their coach or one of their dads (maybe both) actually told them that he would have given me out if they appealed. Clearly Gilchrist has me covered when it comes to honesty 😉

        I can understand the law when applying to LBW’s and catches (thin edges) as they’re up to the umpires judgement but I don’t think an appeals necessary when the stumps have broken.

        That being said I’m not sure that the rule was applied correctly anyway. The umpire did clearly raise the finger, presumably after the 3rd umpire informed him of what happened, and Richardson walked off but stopped a metre before the boundary rope. We then saw Katich clearly call him back on. He was given out but it was reversed. Surely once the umpire raises his finger and gives the player out, Rule 27.1 becomes redundant?

        It would seem that he was called back by Katich’s good nature, though that probably had a lot to do with the fact that the Strikers were 5/50 off about 12 overs chasing 190! I imagine we’d be hearing a lot more about this if Adelaide were 5/150 at the time instead

        • January 11th 2013 @ 7:50am
          Red Kev said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:50am | ! Report

          I would have thought so Matt (to both the finger raising superseeding law 27.1 and to the match situation).

      • Roar Rookie

        January 11th 2013 @ 8:53am
        josh said | January 11th 2013 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        The umpire was wrong any appeal of “How’s that” has to be considered by the umpire. Whether it is one person or eleven.

      • Roar Guru

        January 11th 2013 @ 11:30am
        TheGenuineTailender said | January 11th 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        A half appeal is still an appeal isn’t it? To just say “how’s that?” should be enough.

    • January 11th 2013 @ 7:30am
      Atawhai Drive said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      I didn’t see the incident. Had he completed his stroke?

      I was vaguely aware that, strictly speaking, the fielding side has to appeal for dismissals to be confirmed. Common sense dictates that a batsman who has been clean bowled will leave the crease without waiting for an appeal and an umpire’s raised finger.

      When was the last time you saw an actual appeal for a catch behind the wicket? You hear lots of celebratory shouting and whooping, but never a plain old ‘How’s that’?.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 9:21am
        Happy Hooker said | January 11th 2013 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        AD, no question he was out hit wicket – it was in the act of completing his stroke. Amazing that with flashing bails and stumps, no-one seemed to see the wicket broken, hence Triffitt’s polite suggestion to the umpire that he might take a look at how the bails came to be on the ground.

    • January 11th 2013 @ 7:32am
      Josh said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      It’s a good law and one every cricketer should know. It is a law that as a cricketer you learn sometime in the juniors and one they should have k own. I didn’t see the match because I do t have fox and well it’s 2020 which is sooooo dull it probably needed some livening up

    • Columnist

      January 11th 2013 @ 7:35am
      Brett McKay said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      Luke, I wouldn’t be changing the wording of the Law at all. What last niht did show is that the players clearly don’t know the rules, and on the that basis, it’s hard to side with anyone but the umpires.

      Now as I mentioned last night admist all the debate, I can’t recall in 25+ years of playing cricket of ever appealing for bowled, but obviously some level of noise was made to constitute an appeal. The Scorchers said nothing last night, and thus the umpires were as you suggest 100% correct.

      The other thing highlighted last night was he class of Simon Katich, who simply explained that “once we heard what the Law says [just proving my point above], it was only fair that he was called back.” A lesser man would’ve blown up and let Richardson cross the rope.

      Just a final point, Twenty20 is still cricket (despite what plenty think), and thus, it’s still covered and govered by the Laws. Of course the BBL needs to abide by something more formal (in this case, the Laws) because as soon as you change that, then it really is just not cricket…

      • January 11th 2013 @ 7:48am
        Matt F said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        The fact that the match was effectively over may have played a part in Katich calling him back. If the Strikers were 5/150 instead of 5/50 (chasing 190) I’m not sure Katich would have been quite so generous…

        • January 11th 2013 @ 9:29am
          Happy Hooker said | January 11th 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

          Quite Matt. I really like Katich – you know always gives everything he’s got, whether its a grade game for Randy Petes or opening for Australia, but this is the same guy who I recall may have been sanctioned for his behaviour earlier in the BBLagainst the Strikers. Not so classy then …

          • January 11th 2013 @ 11:09am
            Nathan of Perth said | January 11th 2013 @ 11:09am | ! Report

            Sanctioned for that farce game against the Stars with the D/L decision.

            I can’t particularly hold that one against him, the situation was pretty bad.

        • January 11th 2013 @ 12:43pm
          The Dish said | January 11th 2013 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

          Also I think the fact it was hit wicket probably helped Katich make the decision. It’s a bit of a hollow wicket when someone smashes a pull shot into the deep and knocks a bail off in the process.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 8:35am
        Russ said | January 11th 2013 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        Brett, if the batsman walks an appeal isn’t needed, although the umpire can call a player back if they leave the field under the misapprehension they are out (bowled off a no-ball being the obvious example). Katich could still have appealed too, as he has until the next ball becomes live, and it is within his remit to ask the umpire to remove the appeal. Which effectively is what he did.

        I don’t think the law needs changing. Appeals are hardly an onerous requirement for requesting a decision. Nor is that really the reason here, as Richardson was given out. Then recalled. And no, players don’t know the laws. Even players with two decades experience seem never to have gone through them. Anyone who has umpired a game could tell you that.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 9:49am
        Michael said | January 11th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

        If a batsman is bowled he would be within his rights to remain at the wicket until he is given out by the umpire following an appeal from the fielding team. The reason this doesn’t happen is because the batsman would look like a fool and be jeered off the field.

    • Roar Guru

      January 11th 2013 @ 7:37am
      Rabbitz said | January 11th 2013 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      If the player do not know the laws, and are playing first class games, then it would appear to me that the very structure of the the game should be questioned.

      The law itself is perfectly fine. It actually points to the proper status of the umpires, that they are not part of the game, and as impartial observers the participants should ask for the decision. That is how it should be.

      The upbringing and training of the players and the coaching staff must be questioned. How did they not know? When (if ever) are the laws of the game taught to players?

      Don’t change the laws to suit the ignorance of the players. Change the players to be less ignorant.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 8:28am
        Aaron P said | January 11th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Rabbitz, you have a fair point but I think it is the umpire’s job to know every law of the game, not the players. Of course the players need to know the main rules and common situations but it’s really up to the umpire to know all of the ‘rare’ laws. If nobody appealed, then by the laws of the game, the umpires should have not made any decision at all, except to move on to the next ball as normal. If that happened then the players would naturally appeal to the umpire if it was clearly out, and then the umpire could give it out.

        • Roar Guru

          January 11th 2013 @ 10:24am
          Rabbitz said | January 11th 2013 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          How is 27.1 a rare law?

          It is incumbent on every player to know this law. It is integral to the game.

          I did not see the incident but if the description I have read are accurate, the batsman walked, there was no appeal,so no wicket, so the umpire/s called him back. The umpire/s did exactly what they should have done.

          The batsman was not out, and was recalled. Quite simple.

        • Columnist

          January 11th 2013 @ 10:48am
          Brett McKay said | January 11th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          Aaron, even if players have only skimmed the Laws, they’d have seen the Law about appealing (27) before they got to the various dismissals (Laws 30-39). This isn’t a rare Law at all, it’s the first step in taking a wicket. The players have no-one to blame except themselves on this one..

          • January 11th 2013 @ 11:20am
            Matt F said | January 11th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            But Brett, the umpire did still give him out. It was then overturned with Katich’s approval. Surely once the umpire gives him out (even if there was no appeal) the law is redundant? This seems to be a case where the umpires got the law wrong which, one could argue, is no different to an umpire getting an LBW decision wrong.

            I heard this morning that Triffitt,while not specifically appealing, did suggest to the umpire that they should check to see what actually happened. Can that be considered a form of an appeal?

            • Columnist

              January 11th 2013 @ 11:30am
              Brett McKay said | January 11th 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

              Matt, I have to admit that that, and Richardson seemingly walking despite not being given out, are still confusing even now. I’m not sure what happened for either of those to occur.

              Ultimately, I think the right decision was reached, though you are right, the score and the situation at the time probably helped that be the case..

              • January 11th 2013 @ 12:02pm
                Matt F said | January 11th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                Yep it’s very confusing. It would have been very interesting to see, not just what would have happened on the field, but also the media reaction off the field if the match was in the balance at the time

      • Columnist

        January 11th 2013 @ 10:44am
        Brett McKay said | January 11th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        Rabbtiz, it never failed to astound me how many young players would come through junior rep programs, age teams, etc and graduate into Grade teams, but who couldn’t umpire when required because they didn’t know how to and/or didn’t know the rules. I very rarely got a straight answer when I’d ask them “How the hell do you know what you’re appealing for, then?”

        • Roar Guru

          January 11th 2013 @ 11:16am
          Rabbitz said | January 11th 2013 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Hi Brett,

          What is the answer? A vexed question I suggest.

          Should junior coaches be accredited?

          Should the junior association be required (and funded) to train coaches and players? The volunteer and underfunded nature of junior sports makes such impositions difficult.

          Should there be “exams” for players who want to play rep cricket (both junior and grade)?

          • Columnist

            January 11th 2013 @ 12:20pm
            Brett McKay said | January 11th 2013 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            Part of problem Rabbitz is that the kids themselves never umpire on their way up, before parents or teachers or coaches do it, and then if they play some rep games, they often get official umpires. So when they start playing in the lower grades, they’ve literally never umpired before.

            The obvious answer would be for clubs/rep progams to conduct umpiring classes and clinics, but that needs to be funded somehow. Any player should know how to umpire though, it should be obvious. And score for that matter, they need scoring classes too!!

            • January 11th 2013 @ 1:35pm
              Old Creeker said | January 11th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

              Watch out Rabbitz – Brett’s about to go on a rant now!

              • Columnist

                January 11th 2013 @ 3:50pm
                Brett McKay said | January 11th 2013 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                I haven’t even got to sightscreens yet….

            • Roar Guru

              January 11th 2013 @ 1:43pm
              Atawhai Drive said | January 11th 2013 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

              In my experience, not exactly current admittedly, the division re umpiring occurred quite young.

              All kids playing organised cricket started out with adults as umpires _ someone’s dad, a coach, or just the old bloke who lived over the other side of the ground.

              But get to about 13, and things changed. The talented kids continued to have adult umpires, still parents and/or coaches in some cases, but also qualified umpires appointed by the local association. The gun players get to adulthood without ever having to perform umpiring duties.

              Whereas the other kids, the vast majority, the lower-grade and park adult cricketers of the future, had to umpire themselves. The batting team would take it in turns to supply two umpires at a time.

              Not everyone wanted to umpire, but it was expected of you. It was a test of your concentration and powers of observation _ an already dismissed batsman was more likely to make a good fist of umpiring than someone waiting to bat. Your teammates also had the reasonable expectation that the press-ganged umpire would have a reasonable knowledge of the laws of the game.

              Last but not least, forced umpiring was a test of character. You’re umpiring, your team needs only three runs to win the match, you’re nine down but your best batsman is facing, and for some reason he plays across a straight one and is plumb LBW.

              What do you do? Support your team and give him not out, risking abuse and physical intimidation from the outraged fielding side? Or do the right thing morally, put your finger in the air and brave your teammates’ wrath?

              Some ordinary players found they quite enjoyed umpiring and decided to specialise, thus staying in the game for much longer than most players. But umpiring is tough.

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