Cricket has always been regarded as a gentleman’s game. The game is always played in spirit, no matter what the rules state. There have, however, been incidents that have given birth to some of the most unusual rules in the game.
Today, we explore the most bizarre rules of cricket - most of which you wouldn't have known of:
1. The batsman cannot hit the ball twice
At some point of time, we would've all wondered - what if the batsman didn’t hit the ball as well as he intended to the first time and gets an opportunity to hit the ball again, would he be allowed to do so?
It turns out, no. According to the Law 34 of the cricket laws - "A batsman is considered out if he/she willfully strikes the ball the 2nd time with his/her bat before it has touched any fielder."
There are, however, two exceptions to this rule. A batsman would be considered not out even after hitting the ball twice if the batsman:
1. Strikes the ball the second time in order to return the ball to the fielder. (However, in such a scenario, he/she needs to take permission from the fielder before touching the ball with the bat or any part of his body.)
2. Strikes the ball the second time in order to guard his wickets (Preventing the ball from hitting his wickets)
2. Appeal Withdrawal Rule
As per Law 31.8 of Cricket, a captain of the fielding team can withdraw an appeal after taking approval from the umpire. In other words, even if a batsman has been declared out, the captain, after taking confirmation from the umpire, can ask the batsman to continue batting.
An amusing instance of such an event took place when India was playing England. Ian Bell was given out on what everyone thought was a boundary. However, replays showed that the ball never touch the ropes and hence was run out. Indian Captain, MS Dhoni withdrew his appeal and recalled Ian Bell. (Watch the video below)
3. Spider-Camera is not an extra fielder
If the cricket ball hits the spider cam floating over the ground, then it a dead ball (even if it is a sure-shot catch or six).
The incident in the above video is when Australian all-rounder Glen Maxwell hit the ball in the air, which hit the Spider-Cam. It was declared a dead-ball by the umpires following protocols.
4. Penalty Runs for Kicking the Ball over the Boundary
In perhaps one of the most bizarre rules - if a fielder intentionally kicks the ball over the boundary rope, 5 penalty runs are awarded to the batting team
This rule is strange since if a fielder intentionally kicks the ball outside the boundary, the batting team any way gets 4 runs (at least). Isn’t that a penalty in itself?
One such instance occurred when India played South Africa and Sehwag kicked the ball intentionally over the ropes (watch the video above). The umpires considered this a violation and awarded a five-run penalty to South Africa.
Virender Sehwag decided intentionally kicked the ball over the boundary rope so that India could get a chance to get Morne Morkel dismissed.
5. Any Obstacle on the Ground is a Boundary
This rule sounds like a gully cricket rule. What's strange is that it's a part of ICC's rule book! If mutually agreed by both captains before the toss, any obstacle on the ground is considered a boundary
If a batsman hits a shot, and the ball gets stopped by a dog or a bird that happens to enter the ground at just the right time, it is not considered a boundary (even though the ball may well have been crossing the boundary line before it got stopped).
However, for fixed obstacles such as a tree, the two captains along with the umpires have to agree to be considered as a boundary. In case you are still wondering, it is not considered a six if the ball hits the tree directly without any bounce. It is only considered a boundary.