On the first day of the Ranji Trophy final between Baroda and Rajasthan in Vadodara last week, Rajasthan opener Vineet Saxena miscued a cover drive. The fielder at mid-on, Bhargav Bhatt, noticed that the batsman was outside the crease. Prompted by wicketkeeper-skipper Pinal Singh, Bhatt knocked down the stumps. After deliberation between the umpires, the batsman was declared run out.
Last year in the Mumbai-Karnataka Ranji encounter at Mysore, Ajit Agarkar missed a shot, started practising the stroke and strolled out of the crease while the ball was still in play. The ball becomes 'dead' only when it reaches the bowler. Agarkar paid the price for venturing out too soon.
According to the latest laws passed by the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) annual general meeting in May 2010, there are ten ways in which a batsman can get out: caught, bowled, leg before wicket, run out, stumped, handling the ball, obstructing the field, hitting the ball twice, hit wicket and timed out. England's Len Hutton is the only man to be given out 'obstructing the field' in Test cricket (in the England-South Africa series in 1951).
There are seven instances in Test cricket of batsmen handling the ball. Pakistani pacer Sarfraz Nawaz was involved in the dismissal of Australian Andrew Hilditch in the second Test in Perth in 1978-79. Hilditch was at the non-striker's end when a fielder returned the ball. Hilditch picked it up and politely gave it to Sarfraz, who appealed and Hilditch was given out.
A batsman can be timed out under Law 31 if he isn't ready to take strike within three minutes of the fall of the previous wicket. It's never happened in Test cricket but there are four instances in first-class cricket. In 1997-98, Hemulal Yadav of Tripura was given out against Orissa in a Ranji Trophy match at Cuttack after showing no inclination to start his innings after a drinks break.
In the 1935-36 Quadrangular final between the Hindus and the Muslims, the former required 366 runs win. The going was rough for the Hindus. CS Nayudu, who had earlier claimed nine wickets, was down with fever. As Hindu wickets started falling, skipper CK Nayudu sent urgent summons to his younger brother CS to rush to the Bombay Gymkhana and bat as the last batsman. CS rushed to the grounds but couldn't make it in time and was declared 'timed out' with the Muslims going on to win its third Quadrangular title.
The running out of a batsman at the non-striker's end by the bowler while delivering the ball is known as 'doing a Mankad'. In Sydney, 1947-48 series, while delivering the ball, Mankad held on to it and whipped off the bails with batsman WR Brown well out of the crease.
Watch out for more unusual dismissals. They form a special part of cricket's mythology.
(Ravi Chaturvedi is a cricket commentator and the author of Legendary Indian Cricketers. The views expressed by the author are personal.)