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Cricket/Suspention of play in dangerous or unreasonable conditions


Respected Sir,

As an umpire what are the things that need to be consider/to be judge for conclusion on Bad light on the field of play?

Mayur Wankhade.

This is a very big question.

Law 3 <,29,A> covers this topic including a small video clip.

MCC's Open Learning Manual contains:-

The umpires are the sole judges of the fitness of conditions of ... light. In exercising this responsibility, umpires must accept that they have a duty of care for the safety of players and for each other. ... It is dangerous for play to take place if any reasonable person could foresee the likelihood of injury to someone on the field of play. The light may be so poor that some fielders will not be able to see the ball coming towards them soon enough to deal with it safely. ... These are not necessarily the only considerations.  The umpires must decide if conditions are dangerous or not. They will do this together, independently of any players.

Possibly the best advice is to study Tom Smith's Cricket Umpiring and Scoring book.

I would also mention that Bad Light is not only darkness but can also be a low bright sun or patches of deep shadow.

As regards the striker's viewpoint, do consider the background - is there a good white screen or is it dark trees or ???  


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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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