“Cricket is a religion in India.” This sentence may be over used and may sound like a cliche. But hey, it is a cliche because, well, it’s true. From millennials who saw Ganguly waving his jersey on Lord’s cricket ground to the Gen-Z taking inspiration from Dhoni’s cool and Kohli’s aggression, cricket has always been in the blood of every Indian.
But cricket is not just about runs and wickets, it also carries within it a plethora of rules that have evolved over the years. These rules are known as “Laws of Cricket.”
The earliest code was penned down in 1744 and since then, it has been maintained by the Marylebone Cricket Club(the MCC) in London. There are 42 laws currently in the Laws of Cricket. Since time immemorial these rules have baffled the audiences that are glued to their television sets at their homes and to their seats at the stadium.
So today, we are going to be looking at 11 of the weirdest cricket rules to exist. After reading this post, you can share these rules at parties with your friends or at a boring meeting with your colleagues and set yourself apart from the crowd. Without further ado, let’s get started.
- A Batsman Will Be Given Out if He Strikes the Ball Twice
Cricket buffs across India cheered wildly when Guran in Lagaan hit the bowl the second time after the bowl had already touched his bat. In the real world, in a real stadium, and in a real match, it would’ve been considered a grave mistake by the batsman and he would have been given OUT.
Shaking your head in a no with disbelief? Well, we all learn something new every day, don’t we? According to Law 34 of Cricket Laws, a batsman is considered out if he/she wilfully strikes the ball the 2nd with his bat before it has touched any fielder.
- Returning The Ball? Sorry, you’re out!
It is often said, “No good deed ever goes unpunished.” It generally means that acts of kindness can backfire on those who carry those acts. Law 33 in the Laws of Cricket is a true example of this phrase.
According to the Law, “A batsman could be given out for handling the ball if, while playing a delivery, the batsman intentionally touched the ball with one or both of their hands not holding the bat.”
As a cricket player, if a batsman shows a friendly gesture to the opposition by returning the ball to the fielding side without its consent, the batsman will be given out.
Weird, isn’t it? Not only is it weird, but to get out with such an act has been extremely rare in the cricketing world. So far only 7 dismissals have been in this fashion in International one day cricket and only 3 in test internationals.
- No Matter What, If The Bowler Doesn’t Appeal, That Batsman Will Never Be Given Out
We understand how you might feel that this rule is quite an obvious one. Appealing for wickets has been one of the most common occurrences in any cricket game. All of us are guilty of saying “I knew it was out” right after the bowling side appeals and the umpire raises his finger.
But there have been times when the batsman has been actually out but as the fielding side never appealed, they were not given out. What saved the batsman was Law 31.1 which says “Neither umpire shall give a batsman out, even though he/she may be out under the Laws unless appealed to by a fielder.”
In a hilarious incident, Cheteshwar Pujara was almost given out by the umpire on the non-striker’s end but since there was no appeal by the fielding side, the Indian batsman lived to see another day.
- The New “Fake Fielding” Law
We live in the world of “Fake” everything. With fake news taking over our social media feed, and fake promises made by our politicians, it almost makes sense that cricket too has this “Fake Fielding” Law.
One of the newest additions to the Law of Cricket, fake fielding comes under the Unfair actions category of the Laws. According to the law, the fielding side will be penalized for 5 rues if a fielder who has not collected the ball gives the impression that he has in fact collected the ball and consequently prevents the batsman from running between the wickets and scoring runs.
- It’s Not Leg Before Wicket but Body Before Wicket
Here’s a law that even the most die-hard fans of cricket are not aware of. We all know LBW or leg before wicket is one of the most common ways of dismissal in cricket. But leg before wicket doesn’t literally refer to leg but refers to the whole body of the batsman before the wicket.
Before you scratch your head in confusion let us simplify this. The law simply suggests that if the ball is hitting the stumps and if any part of the batsman’s body is hit by the bowl, the umpire is free to give the batsman out.
God of Indian cricket Sachin Tendulkar himself was given out on the grounds mentioned above. In an incident that infuriated a lot of Indian cricket fans, Sachin was declared out after his shoulder that was before the stumps was hit by the bowl bowled by Glen McGrath
- Bowl Obstructed in the Air Is Considered Dead Bowl
Now you may be thinking, “How can a bowl be obstructed in the air? Are we living in a Christopher Nolan film?” Well, we all can only wish for that, but no. A bowl can be obstructed in the air thanks to new additions in modern-day cricket like Spyder cam.
If a player manages to hit the spyder cam while trying to hit a six, the ball will be considered a dead ball. Similarly, if the ball hits the retractable part of a stadium’s roof, it too is considered a dead ball. In the case of the ball bouncing off the roof of the stadium and is caught by a fielder, the batsman is not given an out.
- The Weirdest Grass Mowing Law
This one is perhaps the strongest law in the cricketing world. In fact, it is so strange we didn’t even know what to title it, so we just call it, “the mowing of the grass” rule.
Now, we know that mowing(the process of removing the grass from a lawn or any land) is a fairly common sight in cricket. Mowing is a fairly important process that is done to keep the cricket field even and the grass on the pitch consistent.
And obviously, this rule works as it is supposed to on the pitches that have a decent covering of grass, but, and here is where it gets bizarre, even the pitches that have not a single strand of grass on it is mowed too. Every. Single. Day. Now how is that for crazy?