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Ravindra Jadeja’s penalty results in New Zealand starting the innings on 5/0


Why New Zealand were given five runs before the start of their first innings total in response to India's tally of 557/5 declared.

Bruce Oxenford
Umpire Bruce Oxenford followed section 14 of law 42

New Zealand started the innings at 5/0 before a ball was bowled as a result of Ravindra Jadeja running on the pitch twice, despite a warning. India declared on 557/5 thanks to career-best Test scores from Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane and fifty from Rohit Sharma.

However, that was the most bizarre part of the innings as Ravindra Jadeja got a five-run penalty as he failed to follow the rules of cricket and was promptly penalised by umpire Bruce Oxenford. Having already been warned, Jadeja paid the price for not following the rules.

For this incident, Jadeja was also fined 50 percent of his match fees and has also received three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct. Jadeja was found to have breached Article 2.2.11 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, that deals with “players causing avoidable damage to the pitch during an international match”.

In what turned out to be the penultimate over of India’s innings delivered by Trent Boult, Ravindra Jadeja cut the ball to third man and ran down the pitch for the second time. This time, Bruce Oxenford gave the penalty of five runs to New Zealand’s tally.

Although Jadeja was not happy with the decision, it was the right call by the umpire as he followed section 14 of Law 42 which talks about fair and unfair play on the pitch.

This is what happened:

Ravindra Jadeja

Under section 14 of Law 42 (Fair and unfair play), the umpire has the right to award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side. In accordance with the law, when the batsman is deemed to have caused damage to the pitch, the umpire first informed the other umpire of the occurrence and also the fielding captain and the batsman concerned.

So when Ravindra Jadeja ran on the pitch for the first time, the fielding captain was informed, Jadeja was warned and asked not to do it again but when he did, according to the laws of the game, the umpire added five runs to the visitor’s first innings tally before they started their innings.

Here is what the law states:

14. Batsman damaging the pitch

(b) If there is any further instance of avoidable damage to the pitch by any batsman in that innings, the umpire seeing the contravention shall, when the ball is dead, inform the other umpire of the occurrence. The bowler’s end umpire shall then

(i) disallow all runs to the batting side from that delivery other than the penalty for a No ball or a Wide, if applicable.

(ii) additionally, award 5 penalty runs to the fielding side.

(iii) return the batsmen to their original ends.

(iv) inform the captain of the fielding side and, as soon as practicable, the captain of the batting side of what has occurred.

Following the penalty, Ravindra Jadeja was aware of the law and even jumped off the danger area to ensure that he doesn’t fall foul of the laws once again. However, that did not stop him from incurring a fine and three demerit points from the ICC and this is why the all-rounder needs to be careful in the future.

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