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Cricket/Law 37: Obstructing the field


QUESTION: Respected Sir ,

Yesterday i was doing a local PDCA ( Pune dist cricket association) match , and this is from my experience from the same match.

there was a batsman A . He was at non-striker and his partner hit the ball in the air , the fielder was underneath and suddenly batsmen A shouted "come for Run ! He is not going to take catch ! he is not going to take catch ! " , and the fielder drops it. I was at striker's end and i came to realise that he breach the Law 37.  But no appeal was made form the fielding side. ( may be they were not aware of this law !!!)

This again happen, I was at strikers end only. this time striker was that batsman A himself. He lifted the ball up and shouted again , fielder drops and still no appeal had been made. But as the this was the second case i just went to the batsman n caution him that such thing is not in the spirit of the game and for such offence there is OUT penalty.

Since NO appeal had been made in both the cases , i could not do much and that too i was at strikers end keeping in mind this goes to Bowler's end umpires jurisdiction even if appeal had made.

I just caution the that batsman A not to adopt this practise. and just gave me disappointed looks like-wise he was allowed to do so !!!

What was your stand on this scene. How would you handle this ?

also see video at :
This is happen at 4th ODI Played at Kingsmead, Durban between SA and PAK.
Hafeez given out obstructing the field for deliberately changing his course of running obstructing the throw-in at non-striker end. This is also on of the way of field obstruction. this scenario is also mentioned in New copy of tom smith. Billy Bowden on referral found him guilty and directs Dharmasena to raise the finger on field.

 Though SA commentator shows disappointment on this and regarded it as the controversial matter.

kindly see the video and give your words.

Mayur Wankhade.

ANSWER: Dear Mayur,

Thanks for getting back to me for knowing more about obstructing the field.

I noted what you have described.

In cricket lot of sledging goes on like this. Players must know what to do and when to do? If they don't know it is their problem. We can give caution to either side when we feel that words are directed at each other in a unsporting manner, both umpires together call the captain or batsmen, and should advise accordingly. But we cannot give a batsman out unless there is an appeal. So be silent, watch the behavious of either side, and when you feel you exchange words with your colleague at any possible time after an over, and when you both decide that some unfair things are taking place, just call the concerned played and caution them.

We cannot allow either side to attack each other by words or actions, and umpires must take action.

In the other incident, the rule is amended to avoid the unfair actions of the batsmen. But umpires must know the action of that running batsman, which was deliberately changed or he has done to avoid a throw in, to avoid injury. If otherwise, he should be given out obstructing the field, even though the ball was not going to hit the wicket. Rules are brought into action and designed after a proper study  and its impact on the field of play. But umpires must act as per the facts in front of them.

Normally the striker will run to his off side and the non striker normally runs from the other side. If in between they change the path of running to prevent the throw to hit the stumps, it is presumed that he has done it deliberately to prevent the ball from hitting the stumps.

This is one of the decision where umpires must consult each other and decide. In the end only the bowler's end will raise his index finger.

It is always better to warn the captain or the batsmen, at the very beginning of any unfair play taking place, to avoid any further controversy.

In your case, you need to caution the batsmen that you just behave properly and play the game and don't shout on the ground for any action taking place, otherwise be ready for penalty in the game. Just say a few polite words to avoid unfair play.

Umpires also need to master communication skill to ease the matter soon.

Hope this is good enough. Thanks for your questions and get your doubts cleared. This is the way you learn the toughest job to perform without any controversy. Keep in up Mayur. Thanks for keeping me refreshing.

With best wishes,

Suhas Sapre (Baroda 27/03/2013)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Respected Sir,

Thank you for such a wonderful explanation.
I am glad to have such an important knowledge from one of the senior official.

Thanks a lot,
Mayur Wankhade.

ANSWER: Hi Mayur,

What else I can expect from you? Just get on with your umpiring very sincerely and ZI am sure every small match is a lesson for you. So try to concentrate on the game while you do umpiring. You must concentrate on the ball, from the time it leaves the bowler's hand till it is played or collected by the WK. Concentration and dedication should go together when you do a match. Hope you to progress in future.

With regards,

Suhas Sapre (Baroda 20/04/2013)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Respected Sir,

yes sir definitely, i take each match very seriously whatever the level of the match and whatever the level of players playing in the match.
In some 3-4 early matches i get difficulties with the application of law no 43. i get it difficult to handle the pressure situation.
But as and when i progress with the no of matches , suddenly the confidence level increases and there was no fear even when the Ranji Player was playing in front of me.

i know as the time will progress the level of the professionalism suddenly increases and you may undergo the pressure. One can become best umpire not only with the knowledge of the laws and first class eye sight but he must able to handle the pressure situations and issues arising within the game in wise manner. that i need to concentrate on before getting any opportunity of high grade match.

there are also many different aspects on which i need to work on .. such as communication skills to talk with the players (what to talk , how much to talk), the overall body language on the field,how to help the colleague non verbally, the administrative capabilities , problem solving thinking , pressure handling capacity and last but not the least the brain power enhancement.

i am working on all these things.. any guidance for the same from you is most welcome ... since you must know the tricks for the same.


Hi Mayur,

Thats very nice of you to learn so many things at the proper age in your career. What is good for you is that you are very much serious about learning all these aspects of the game.

1.   Have patience and great devotion to take up umpiring
2.   Learn the cricket laws and start doing low level local matches
3.   Enroll your name with your local association and if possible join the membership
4.   As long as you are available and whatever opportunity comes in your way, you utilize the best of time for umpiring in local matches.
5.   Be polite and keep yourself as low profile
6.   Try to get in touch with best of Sr. Umpires around your association
7.   Make any Sr. Umpire your Mentor (guru) to learn the primary lessons
8.   Keep only one mentor and have good understanding with him
9.   Read TOM SMITH’s Bible “Cricket Umpiring & Scoring “ latest edition which you can purchase from any sports boutiques or from Marine Sports, Mumbai
10.   Read, understand and interpret all the laws. Keep noting down points for conclusive decision
11.   Get the ‘catch’ word to understand the laws
12.   Be ready to stand for 6  to 8 hours in scorching sun or in cold
13.   Keep yourself fit for the job, physical fitness is as important as to a player
14.   Umpire needs lots of concentration and good thinking
15.   There are 42 laws you have to master but the most important is the Law No.43, and I.e., Common Sense
16.   One must have good command over English language to take up umpiring exam and to have better communication with the players
17.   Career always comes first and all such hobbies afterwards. See that you settle in your life and don’t treat umpiring as your bread and butter. But once you become a first class umpire then you can become professional umpire

Hope you do well in your career. With best wishes,

Suhas Sapre (Baroda 19/05/2013)  


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Suhas L Sapre


I can help to give all questions regarding cricket laws, rules on both umpiring and cricket scoring. It will be a great pleasure to help any candidate who wants to clear the exam of BCCI. I can guide him how the questions are asked and the way they should be replied. I can also conduct classes for Cricket umpiring and scoring anywhere. I look forward to educate and promote local umpires in the days to come. I would help them to get through BCCI Level 1 exam.


I have been a state panel cricket umpire and doing umpiring for last 40 years and also a BCCI official national scorer since 2004, having done many International ODIs played at Baroda and many first class matches in Baroda. I have passed many state panel exams in both categories.

I was serving with State Bank of India, as an Officer, posted at Bodeli branch, some 65 Kmts from Baroda, having taken promotion in August 2012. I was thereafter transferred to Pavi Jepur Br, some 90 kmts from Baroda on 20/12/2013. Recently I have taken VRS from Bank as after becoming an officer I was facing lot of problems regarding leave to attend BCCI matches as a scorer and also Local umpiring and thus hampering my sporting activities. Now to enable me to spare more time for my passion, I have opted for VRS and was relieved on 30/01/2016 and now will look forward to enjoy my passion in the remaining years.Look forward to remain busy with cricketing activities for next one decade and more.Look forward to help my cricket colleagues. Look forward to give off my best services to my passion, which has taught me many more things and now I feel I must contribute towards the local cricket association, i.e. Baroda Cricket Association with all love and enthusiasm in the coming years.I feel proud to take VRS for the sake of my passion. Its a great feeling that I have taken a bold decision in the wake of my passion which has given me enjoyment and physical fitness to enjoy the game of cricket in the the days to come. Now I feel myself as a free bird and no tension. Look forward to help budding umpires.

Earlier I used to write in local newspaper but thereafter time has not permitted me to do so. I give my views over the controversial topic.

I am a degree holder of Commerce and having a reputed banking job in Baroda. Recently due to some personal problems and to fulfil my love and passion for the game of cricket I have opted volunteer retirement from the Bank service to enable me to do BCCI matches as an Official scorer in first class matches. Taking promotion in Bank and expecting leave for the matches was a major problem and that is one of the reasons to quit bank ahead of cricket.

Awards and Honors
I have passed several examination of cricket umpiring at State levels. I passed Mumbai cricket Association as well as Baroda Cricket Associations state exams. I had also cleared national written test of BCCI, but unfortunately sheer bad luck in viva and practical. I have also stood first in the Scorers' state level examinations at Saurashtra, exam conducted by Saurashtra Cricket Association and also stood first in Mumbai Cricket Association's Scorers' exam. I further cleared the BCCI national exam in the year 1994 held at Ahmedabad. In all I have officiated as an Umpire in more than 3500 matches, including T20, ODI, 3-4-5/days matches, 6-aside, double wicket tournaments, single wicket tournaments, and many more festival events and charity matches. I have also officiated as an official scorer in many first class cricket matches as well as almost all ODI matches played at the IPCL/ Reliance Cricket ground in Baroda. In all I have officiated as an official scorer in not less than 300 matches. I have been appointed a Sports Secretary of SBI in Baroda (2010 to 2012) I have been elected as one of the Umpires' committee of Baroda Cricket Association on 23.04.2012 Looking forward to take care of local umpires and will try to educate them. Recently I was privileged to conduct a 3-day cricket Umpires seminar on 7 to 9 September, 2012 along with Shri Sanjay Hazare, BCCI Elite panel cricket umpire. This was my first ever experience to conduct a seminar, which had almost 60 participants. I am thankful to the Baroda Cricket Association for giving me this opportunity. I have been honoured on many occasions with awards and certificates for my best umpiring. Recently on 13th February, 2014, I was invited as a Chief Guest by Amrut School in Halol, to celebrate the Annual Sports Day of their school.

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