Steve Waugh against India

5 famous handled-the-ball dismissals

Dismissals hurt. Ask any batsman, and they will articulate this in the saddest of terms.

One such form is 'handled the ball'. According to Law 33 of the Laws of Cricket established by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).


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.

It is regarded as one of the most unusual ways of getting out. More often than not, the transgression is unintentional, rather than premeditated, and the batsman is unlucky to be given out. Sometimes, their instinct gets the better of them when they see the ball rolling dangerously towards the stumps.

On that note, let us take a look at five most bizarre handled-the-ball dismissals in cricket history.


Note: The list is in no particular order.


#1 Andrew Hilditch versus Pakistan (1979, Perth)

Andrew Hilditch of Australia

The only incident where a non-striker was given out for handling the ball. Andrew Hilditch suffered one of the most bizarre handling the ball dismissal in a Test match against Pakistan in Perth.

Standing at the non-striker's end at an individual score of 29, Hilditch stopped a wide throw coming his way with his hands. And then offered the ball to bowler Sarfaraz Khan. The bowler, in turn, appealed to the umpire against Hilditch for handling the ball and was eventually given out.


The incident is still considered to be against the ethics of the game.

#2 Mohinder Amarnath versus Australia (1986, Melbourne)

Mohinder Amarnath

The 1986 ODI series between India and Australia, 1983 WC winner Mohinder Amarnath lost his wicket in the unlikeliest of fashions. Batting at an individual score of 15, Amarnath faced off-spinner Greg Matthews. The bowler bowled a flighted delivery that spun off the deck. However, Amarnath seemed unperturbed by the turn and played the ball with soft hands. With hardly any foot movement, Amarnath initially looked to cut the ball but resorted to defending it in an uncomfortable position in the end.


The ball seemed to ricochet and moved in the direction of the stumps before Amarnath let his instincts take over and used his hands to pat the ball away.

Before the Aussies could appeal, Amarnath started walking slowly towards the pavillion with a smile on his face and with only himself to blame.

#3 Graham Gooch versus Australia (1993, Manchester)

Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch's reputation as the world's most destructive batsman in the 1900s was further enhanced by his exploits in the Ashes of 1993. Although England were humiliated in their backyard, losing the six-Test Ashes series 1-4, Gooch tormented the Aussie bowlers and scored against them at will.


Chasing a mammoth target of 512 runs in the fourth innings, Gooch opened the innings and scored a magnificent ton to ignite hopes of an unlikely draw. At an individual score of 133, Gooch faced the dangerous Merv Hughes. Gooch played Hughes comfortably before patting down one of his deliveries which appeared to run towards the stumps. Gooch trusted his instincts and changed the direction of the ball with his bare hands.

Gooch was given out and eventually England folded for 332 runs to hand an easy 179-run victory to the Aussies.

#4 Steve Waugh versus India (2001, Chennai)

Steve Waugh

The historic Test series in 2001 between India and Australia fills every Indian cricket fan with pride. Not only did India beat the top-ranked Test side 2-1, but Australia also suffered a humiliating defeat in Kolkata after making the hosts follow-on.


In the Chennai Test, Steve Waugh was looking dangerous while batting at an individual score of 47 runs. India's man with the golden arm, Harbhajan Singh was trying his best to get through the defences of the Australian captain. As the score reached 340 for three, Waugh missed a sweep against the off-spinner and the ball appeared to have spun late and moved towards the stump. That's when Waugh pushed aside the ball with his hands and was ultimately given out.

He, therefore, became the sixth batsman in Tests to be given out that way, and the eighth overall at that time.

#5 Cheteshwar Pujara versus Leicestershire (2014, Derby)

Cheteshwar Pujara

In an encounter between Derbyshire and Leicestershire in the County Championship Division Two, India's Cheteshwar Pujara was given out for handling the ball. He became only the second Indian to face this fate after Amarnath and the 59th first-class player overall. He also became the first player since Derbyshire's Karl Krikken in 1996, to be given out in this fashion in England.


While batting at six, Pujara defended a faster one from left-arm seamer Atif Sheikh. Although he played the ball without much fuss, Pujara immediately turned around to slap the ball which seemed to be going towards the stumps.

He stood his ground but was later given out after the replays confirmed the same.

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Edited by
S Chowdhury
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