Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cricket Rules - No Ball

Know, if you know the No Ball!

Do you remember the second last over of KKR vs CSK IPL 2012 final, when Bisla –after scoring blitzkrieg and Kallis – were back to the dugout. CSK had a real hope to win the title clash. Ben Hilfenhaus was bowling the crucial last ball of 19th over – 7 balls remaining, 16 still runs required. Tik tik – tik tik and he bowls a ball which Shakib ul Hasan plays in the air – gets caught – and meanwhile umpire calls it a NO BALL for ball above waist height. Between all these commotions, batsmen completed 2 runs. Then, equation became 7 balls remaining, 13 runs to get (1 run of no ball + 2 runs that batsmen ran). The extra ball that required to be bowled fetched another 4 runs for KKR thanks to Shakib for that leg glance, simplifying the equation to 9 runs from 6 balls. Rest is history now!
No Ball Signal

The NO BALL was, in effect – 1 delivery bowled and 7 runs scored! This was, for me, the one of the costliest errors made by CSK bowlers. The No Ball can be this much harsh. What are the different scenarios in which an umpire can call a ball- No Ball? What do the rules say? It is simple, is it? Are you sure about the simplicity? Let’s check it out!

The 7 laws of a NO BALL

1.       Right hand – over the wicket!

  A.      Oh Yes, the umpire shall make sure whether the bowler intends to bowl right handed or left handed, over or round the wicket, and shall so inform the striker. It is unfair if the bowler fails to notify the umpire of a change in his mode of delivery. In this case the umpire shall call and signal No ball.
  B.      Underarm bowling shall not be permitted except by special agreement before the match.

2.       Don’t throw it baby…

For a delivery to be fair in respect of the arm the ball must not be thrown (elbow should not be bent above permissible limit). If, in the opinion of either umpire, the ball has been thrown, he shall call and signal No ball.

3.       Don’t throw it baby, again…!

If the bowler throws the ball towards the striker’s end before entering his delivery stride, either umpire shall call and signal No ball.

4.       The feet and the crease – this is perhaps the most common form of a NO BALL.

For a delivery to be fair in respect of the feet, in the delivery stride
The foot no ball
  A.      The bowler’s back foot must land within and not touching the return crease appertaining to his stated mode of delivery.
  B.      The bowler’s front foot must land with some part of the foot, whether grounded or raised
a.       on the same side of the imaginary line joining the two middle stumps as the return crease described in A. above and
b.      behind the popping crease.

If the bowler’s end umpire is not satisfied that all of these three conditions have been met, he shall call and signal No ball.

5.       O, you dangerous bowler!

  A.      Bowling of fast short pitched balls
a.       If the bowler’s end umpire considers that by taking into account their length, height and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury. The relative skill of the striker shall be taken into consideration.
Jack Kallis negotiating a dangerous bouncer.
b.      Any delivery which, after pitching, passes or would have passed over head height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease shall be included with bowling under above (a) and the umpire shall call and signal No ball for each such delivery.

  B.      Bowling of high full pitched balls
a.       Any delivery, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker

A batsmen facing dangerous beamer

6.       In addition to above basic laws of fairness of delivery, following are further laws with respect to position of fielders 

  A.      The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket at the striker’s end from the moment the ball comes into play until
a.       a ball delivered by the bowler either
                                         i.      touches the bat or person of the striker or
                                        ii.      passes the wicket at the striker’s end or
b.      the striker attempts a run.
In the event of the wicket-keeper contravening this Law, the striker’s end umpire shall call and signal No ball as soon as possible after the delivery of the ball.
  B.      Until the moment the ball comes into play, there can be 7 players maximum on one side of wicket and minimum of 2 on the other, excluding bowler and wicketkeeper
  C.      At no point while delivering the ball, fielders should not encroach on pitch

7.       NO BALL, what’s your scorecard? Yes, a no ball affects the scorecard in many ways:

  A.      A penalty of one run shall be awarded instantly on the call of No ball. It shall be in addition to any other runs scored, any boundary allowance and any other runs awarded for penalties.
  B.      All runs resulting from a No ball, whether as No ball extras or credited to the striker, shall be debited against the bowler
  C.      A No ball shall not count as one of the over. (In effect, one extra legal ball needs to be bowled by bowler.)
  D.      When No ball has been called, neither batsman shall be out under any of the Laws except Handled the ball, Hit the ball twice, Obstructing the field or Run out (and poor me thought it’s only Run Out!) 

Free hit:

Free hit is relevant in ODIs and T20 matches. When a bowler bowls a foot-fault no ball (front foot or back foot), in the immediate next ball, the batsman cannot be ruled out in any dismissal modes other than; run outhandled the ballhit the ball twice and obstructing the field. This freedom enables the batsman to play a powerful shot without the fear of getting out caught, bowled, stumped or leg before. For this reason, the delivery immediately after a foot-fault no ball is called a free hit. Free hit is signaled by Umpire by raising his hand and circulating it in air. No change in fielding positions is allowed if same batsmen who faced the no ball is on strike.

And still there are few more but minor laws under which a ball can be called a No Ball. There are provisions under which an Umpire can warn a bowler for bowling unfair, dangerous balls. The provision can be potentially so harsh as to ban a bowler from bowling in that match. Umpiring - a tough job, isn't it? But after this post, I hope you know the No ball! Now, this one is for you, know, if you know the no ball:

Which of the above is/ are no ball?
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