Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Obstructing the field
Law 37 of the Laws of cricket provides that:
"Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully obstructs or distracts the opposing side by word or action. It shall be regarded as obstruction if either batsman wilfully, and without the consent of the fielding side, strikes the ball with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, after the ball has touched a fielder."
If the obstruction is accidental, then it is not wilful, and so the batsman cannot be given out Obstructing the field.
Paragraph 3 of the Law provides that:
"The striker is out should wilful obstruction or distraction by either batsman prevent a catch being made. This shall apply even though the striker causes the obstruction in lawfully guarding his wicket under the provisions of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once)."
This predecessor of this part of Law 37 was in point for the only such dismissal in test match cricket. Len Hutton, when playing for England against South Africa in 1951 at the Oval when a ball hit his bat handle and popped up. As the ball came down toward his stumps, he hit it away, obstructing the wicketkeeper Russell Endean from taking the catch. Coincidentally, Russell Endean was the first man given out handled the ball in a test match.
Other provisions of Law 37
If either batsman is out 'obstructing the field', any runs completed before the offence, together with any penalty extras and the penalty for a No ball or Wide are still scored, except when the offence stopped a catch being caught when only penalties are still scored.
The bowler does not get credit for the wicket.
It is very unusual for a batsman to get out 'obstructing the field'. There are only 3 examples in international cricket.
Len Hutton is the only man given out this way in test cricket. In one-day internationals, Rameez Rajah (for Pakistan against England at Karachi in 1987) was given out for hitting the ball away with his bat to avoid being run out going for his century, and Mohinder Amarnath (for India against Sri Lanki at Ahmedabad in 1989) was given out for kicking the ball away to avoid being run out.
Mohinder Amarnath is also one of only 2 batsmen to have been given out handled the ball in one-day internationals.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details