Cricket, known for its rich traditions and strategic gameplay, also harbors a delightful collection of bizarre and amusing rules that add a touch of quirkiness to the sport. While the core principles of cricket are well-known, there are lesser-known regulations that have entertained fans and players alike. In this article, we will delve into some of the weird and funny rules of cricket that make the game truly unique and memorable.
Let’s begin with one of the most controversial and unusual rules in cricket – Mankading. Named after Indian cricketer Vinoo Mankad, this rule allows a bowler to run out a non-striking batsman if they leave their crease before the ball is bowled. While it is a legitimate form of dismissal, it often sparks debates about the spirit of the game and fair play.
The Free Hit rule is a treat for batsmen and a punishment for bowlers. If a bowler oversteps by delivering a no-ball (crossing the front line of the crease), the subsequent delivery is a Free Hit. During a Free Hit, the batsman cannot be dismissed by any means except for a run-out.
In cricket, it is not uncommon for a ball to disappear into the stands, bushes, or any other unreachable area. When a ball is lost, the umpire has the discretion to award the batting side five runs, regardless of whether the batsmen completed runs or not before the ball vanished.
Hit the Ball Twice:
While it’s rare to see, a batsman is allowed to intentionally hit the ball twice to prevent being dismissed. However, they must be cautious as the second hit cannot be aimed at hitting the stumps or dislodging the bails. The rule primarily exists to prevent accidental double-hits and provides an interesting twist to the game.
Leg Byes and Byes:
Leg byes and byes are methods of scoring runs when the ball does not touch the bat. In the case of leg byes, if the ball hits the batsman’s body or equipment and the batsmen complete a run, the batting team is awarded runs as extras. Byes are awarded when the ball goes past the batsman, and the batsmen complete a run without making contact with the ball.
Obstructing the Field:
An interesting rule in cricket is the provision for a batsman to be given out if they deliberately obstruct a fielder’s attempt to run them out or prevent a catch. This can include actions such as intentionally getting in the way of the throw or interfering with the fielder’s movement. While rare, this rule adds an element of fair play and ensures that fielders have a chance to execute their skills.
If a batsman sustains an injury during an innings and is unable to continue batting, they can opt to retire hurt. The batsman can resume their innings later if they have recovered sufficiently. However, if the team’s innings is completed before the batsman can return, they are deemed not out and their individual score remains unaffected.
No Ball for Bowling Over the Shoulder:
Cricket has various regulations to ensure fair play, and one such rule is the prohibition of bowling over the shoulder. If a bowler’s delivery is above shoulder height without bouncing, it is deemed a no ball. This rule protects the batsman from dangerous bowling and ensures a balance between bat and ball.
Handling the Ball:
Handling the ball is a rarely invoked rule where a batsman can be dismissed if they intentionally touch the ball with their hand, other than to protect themselves from injury. The rule prevents batsmen from using their hands to manipulate the ball or impede the fielding side.
Third Umpire Decisions:
In modern cricket, the use of technology and the third umpire has become common for reviewing close decisions. However, there have been instances where the third umpire has been consulted for peculiar situations, such as determining whether a batsman had grounded their bat properly or if a ball had hit a seagull flying over the field.
Also Read: Biggest controversies in cricket history
Cricket’s weird and funny rules add a touch of charm and excitement to the game, providing moments of unexpected hilarity and controversy. These regulations, although lesser-known to casual fans, contribute to the sport’s unique character and keep players and spectators engaged. From Mankading to handling the ball, each quirky rule adds a layer of intrigue and captivates cricket lovers around the world, making the sport more than just a game played on a field.