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Cricket/MS Dhoni - illegal wk gloves?


Nice rules question...I may have spotted MS Dhoni using illegal equipment live on TV in the last ODI v WI...(won by WI so no outcome issues).

In the TV footage, Dhoni is *very* clearly wearing w/k gloves that have the ring and little finger taped together by a loop of what looks like standard medical zinc oxide tape around *both* fingers. I checked several images and I am quite sure that the tape has not been placed around each finger individually. (I know, I left the border between sanity and obsessive spectrum behaviour some time ago to be even *noticing* things like this)

Law 40.2 states:

2. Gloves

If, as permitted under 1 above, the wicket-keeper wears gloves, they shall have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support. If used, the webbing shall be

(a) a single piece of non-stretch material which, although it may have facing material attached, shall have no reinforcements or tucks.

(b) such that the top edge of the webbing

(i) does not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb.

(ii) is taut when a hand wearing the glove has the thumb fully extended.

See Appendix C

Appendix C refers to the first finger/thumb web and provides pictures.

Now...the presence of tape effectively creates a “web” between the last 2 fingers and even if it has been applied, as was likely, for medical reasons, I believe the tape renders the gloves illegal under Law 40.2. I understand that the “web” so created would be very small, perhaps even irrelevant as a WEB – but it would provide greater stability for a weakened finger included in the binding. This constitutes a material advantage disallowed under the Laws. The fact that you may apply tape to naked fingers for the purpose of supporting a weakened digit is irrelevant as naked fingers are not covered by Law 40.2 whereas gloves most definitely are.

Your opinion?

I have not yet seen the incident - is there some footage online?

I am inclined to agree with you that it does contravene the ketter of the Law and does give a very small advantage.

I would be interested to know what the umpires or referee knew.

I have posted the question on to see what other people think.


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Colin Pearson


Cricket umpiring and scoring. I can answer questions on MCC Laws of Cricket but not ICC and other special regulations, which are frequently changing. I cannot answer questions on careers as a cricket umpiring. For details of courses, visit (anywhere that has advertised), (UK only)


I passed The Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers Full membership examinations in 1961 and have been an instructor since 1973, and examiner since 1977 and have undergone the first stage training as an Umpire Assessor for ECB Association of Cricket Officials. I was Chairman of Training Board for ACU&S from 1981 to 1997.

ECB Association of Cricket Officials British Computer Society Society of Expert Witnesses Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Rotary International

MA Hons Cantab 1966 DMS Part 1, 1975 Enterprise Reader (rtd), Staffordshire University)

Awards and Honors
Taylor Scholarship 1963 Life Vice President ACU&S 1998

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