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What is Obstructing the Field in Cricket?

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Devang Joshi

date post

Jul 11, 2024

What is Obstructing the Field in Cricket?


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There are several ways in cricket through which a batter is dismissed, but one of the most rare and unique dismissals is obstructing the field. It all depends on how the umpire takes the decision, depending on that particular situation.


What does Obstructing the Field Mean in Cricket?

As per the MCC’s law, a batter can be given out if he/she tries to distract or obstruct the bowling team by action or words. The dismissal is one of the 11 modes of dismissal in the sport, as it is also known as obstructing the ball.

As per the law, a batter can be given out if the batter tries to hit the ball with a hand or any other body part, although the batter can do it with the bat. If it is a no ball, then the rule is also applied as per the law.

The batter or non-striker can be given out if the ball is legal and if he is involved in obstruction or distraction while being caught. If, during a no ball delivery, the batter or the non-striker is found to be obstructing or distracting the field, they will be given out.

A batter can also be given out for obstructing the field if the batter catches the ball or returns it to the fielder of the fielding team without their permission.

If a batter is given out obstructing the field, the wicket doesn’t go to the bowler.


Instances of Obstructing the Field in Cricket

One of the first instances of obstructing the field dismissal was witnessed during a domestic game between Sheffield Cricket Club and Bents Green in August 1792. When it comes to international cricket, Len Hutton was the first player to be declared out for obstructing the field in August 1951, when England was facing South Africa at the Oval in London.

During an India vs. Pakistan match in 2006, Suresh Raina attempted a direct hit at the stumps, while Inzamam ul Haq tried to block the throw by obstructing it and was given out.

During an IPL game in 2024, when Chennai Super Kings faced Rajasthan Royals, Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja obstructed the field while batting and was given out. In another game, when Chennai Super Kings faced Sunrisers Hyderabad, Ravindra Jadeja again obstructed the field, but SRH captain Pat Cummins withdrew the appeal, so Jadeja continued to bat.

In December 2023, when New Zealand faced Bangladesh in a test match in Dhaka, Bangladesh wicketkeeper batter Mushfiqur Rahim tried to stop the ball with his hands while batting (watch here). The Kiwi players appealed, and so the right-hander was given out by the umpire for this act.

Apart from these cases, batters like Mohinder Amarnath, Daryll Cullinan, Desmond Haynes, Steve Waugh, Graham Gooch, Michael Vaughan, Mohsin Khan, Andrew Hilditch, etc. have been given out for different modes of obstructing the field.

Read Next | Ten Best Umpires in Cricket

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