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Cricket/Dangerous bowling rule


1) If the bowler bowls a short pitch ball over the head of the batsman for the first time in an over is it called no ball /wide irrespective of if the umpire feels its dangerous or not?

2) Laws of cricket says 2nd fast short pitch delivery should be called a no ball? Is it still a no ball if passes above the batsman's head and he doesn't reach it?

One of the problems is that International Cricket (and some other competitions) have different regulations.

Under MCC Law 42.6(a) Bowling of fast short pitched balls

(i) The bowling of fast short pitched balls is dangerous and unfair if the bowler’s end umpire considers that by their repetition and taking into account their length, height and direction they are likely to inflict physical injury on the striker irrespective of the protective equipment he may be wearing. The relative skill of the striker shall be taken into consideration.

HENCE BELOW HEAD HEIGHT - umpire must judge danger

HOWEVER ABOVE HEAD HEIGHT - automatically considered dangerous every time

(ii) Any delivery which, after pitching, passes or would have passed over head height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease, although not threatening physical injury, shall be included ....
The umpire shall call and signal No ball for each such delivery.

ICC has similar wording but call "Wide Ball"

Answer 1 - always called
Answer 2 - same as Answer 1

Under many competitions, type (i) would be allowed as one per over and any second one in same over would be called.
Type (ii) should always be called.  If then a type (i) in same over, then that would be called.  


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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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