While the cricketing world is divided over a strange wicket incident in Melbourne last weekend, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who are the guardians of the cricket laws, have tried to settle the debate over the controversial decision.
Moonee Valley Cricket Club was playing a match against Strathmore Heights in Melbourne.
Moonee Valley CC batsman Jatinder Singh was bowled on 11 when his middle stump was completely uprooted from the ground. However, the two bails remained in place.
While the umpire adjudged Singh out, some individuals questioned the decision as the bails were not removed.
What the law states:
Law 28.1 (Wicket put down) states: a) The wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the ground, (i) By the ball or (ii) By the striker’s bat if he is holding it or by any part of his bat that he is holding. or (iii) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Law 6.8(a), by the striker’s bat in falling if he has let go of it, or by any part of his bat becoming detached, or (iv) By the striker’s person or by any part of his clothing or equipment becoming detached from his person, or (v) By a fielder with his hand or arm, providing that the ball is held in the hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used.
The wicket is also put down if a fielder strikes or pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner.
Why the umpire’s decision was right:
In this incident, the middle stump was completely removed from the ground, satisfying the ‘a stump is struck out of the ground’ option in 28.1 (a).
Here’s what the MCC had to say:
According to MCC Laws Manager, Fraser Stewart: “The problem was caused by the wicket being incorrectly pitched, either by its positioning or the size of the equipment. A wicket comprising three stumps and two bails of the correct size (8 5/8 inches or 21.9cm) would mean the situation could not happen. The ends of the bails resting on the middle stump should not be touching. If a mistake in setting up the wicket has been made, the umpires need to apply fairness and common sense to reach the correct decision.”