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Cricket/Law 37.3 : Obstructing a ball from being caught


QUESTION: Respected Sir,

The striker after playing at a No ball sees that the ball goes up in the air and about to fall on the stumps. Before the wicket keeper could catch it, the striker hits the ball towards cover and the wicket keeper appeals.

What action to take? Is striker out obstructing the catch being made ?

i guess striker will not be out, as it was a NO ball, its no more a possible catch for fielding side. And according to 5th edition of the laws no other runs other than this one run penalty will be given.

But on the other hand,
"law 37.3 Obstructing a ball from being caught" doesn't explicitly states that it should be a "possible catch"

Waiting for your views on it

Mayur Wankhade

ANSWER: Dear Mayur,

Hi wish you a grand and successful Happy New Year. May 2014brings you more luck and you achieve your goal.

Its a very good question. The call of 'No ball' and a catch is obstructed. Take this simple example and you will give your decision.

A fair catch is obstructed by the non striker, the striker is always out.

Its a no ball and even though the catch is not fair, and it is  still obstructed by the non striker, the non striker is out obstructing the field because of his unfair act.

So if its a no ball and striker takes illegal action to prevent the ball from being caught by the WK, even though its not a fair catch, the striker has unfairly prevented that keeper from fielding the ball and thus obstructed the fielding side, he is likely to be out "Obstructing the field". Its not always a fair catch to be obstructed but you are doing unfair act by striking the ball, which you could have done had the WK not been there to take the catch or to field the ball.

If a throw is directed at the wicket keeper end by any fielder, whether the ball was going to hit the ball or not, if the batsman changes his path or striker the ball with his bat, still he is out obstructing the field.

So here the striker is out "Obstructing the field", whether it is a fair catch or not.

With best wishes,

Suhas Sapre (Baroda 05/01/2014)

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

QUESTION: Respected Sir,

Agreed with your all the possible cases of obstructing the field even on NO ball.!!

For the following case Striker may not be OUT Obstructing the field :
1) Its a NO ball, hit by striker in air
2) WK was about to catch it but striker deflects
3) In the opinion of umpire, he legitimately deflects it in sole purpose of guarding his wicket

Please correct me if i am wrong ! thanks !

Mayur Wankhade

ANSWER: Dear Mayur,

It is clearly mentioned in Law 37.4 Obstructing a Ball from being caught:

The striker is out should wilful obstruction or distraction by either  batsmen prevent a catch being made.

This shall apply even thought the striker causes the obstruction in lawfully guarding his wicket under the Provision of Law 34.3 (Ball lawfully struck more than once)

So it is clear cut that batsman is out "Obstructing the field", even though he has obstructed an invalid catch. To make it simple what is the purpose for the striker to prevent that ball from falling over the stumps? Was he going to be out "Bowled" from a No ball?

So the striker is out "Obstructing the field', whether he obstructs a fair or unfair catch.

Hope you will correct yourself.

With best wishes,

Suhas Sapre (Baroda 15012014)

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

QUESTION: Respected Sir,

This sounds good !!!

your following line make it clear for me

"To make it simple what is the purpose for the striker to prevent that ball from falling over the stumps? Was he going to be out "Bowled" from a No ball?"

I was not getting the meaning of words "prevent a catch" from law 37.4. i was confused among whether its a valid or invalid catch.

But your explanation depicts that it doesn't matter its a valid or invalid catch.

Its always being a nice learning experience with you.
This will help me a lot every time moving forward.
Respect is increasing always !!!

Dear Mayur,

Thanks for refreshing my knowledge about the game. I love it and always enjoy it. Its the process of learning as if we are playing indoor game when rain has interrupted the game.

Thanks. Its my pleasure and I appreciate your learning process. Thanks again.

Suhas Sapre (Baroda 15012014)


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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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