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I think back in the 70's you could be run out at the bowlers end
if the ball hit by the batsman hit the stumps and you were out of your crease. The ball did not have to be touched by a fielder.
Can you tell me when the rule changed to the ball must be touched by a fielding player.

Apologies for delay in response.

I was umpiring in 1960's and have no recollection of any difference.  Indeed I do recall a works knock out match in which I had to calm down such a pair of situations in the same match. In one innings I gave out and the other not out - the ball had been hit straight back on both occasions but the bowler had only touched one of them.  There was considerable argument on the second occasion when I was accused of bias - until I gave a full explanation to the aggrieved spectators,

I have now been able to check 1947 code and it is clearly stated there that the ball must have been touched by a fielder.

I have not yet been able to check earlier but Gerald Brodribb, an authority on such detail, makes no mention of it in his book so I am inclined to believe that the present legislation has been in place since the very early days.  


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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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