What a way to go

Players who were dismissed because they thought they were, because they wanted to be, because they didn't turn up at the ground, and for other unusual reasons

Steven Lynch

April 2, 2012

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Vasbert Drakes takes a break by the scoreboard, West Indies Board XI v Australians, 3rd day, St Kitts, April 17, 1995
Vasbert Drakes: turned up too late for the first innings © Getty Images
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Thought he was out caught
The sometime Test allrounder Graeme Watson had reached 145 in Western Australia's Sheffield Shield match against Queensland in Perth in 1971-72 when he cut a ball from Warwick Neville to Donald Allen in the gully and departed, convinced he had been caught. After play the umpires informed Watson that he hadn't been caught at all, and instructed the scorers to record the dismissal as "retired out". Quite why they didn't tell him before he left the pitch hasn't been explained. Just to show that nothing in cricket is new, a similar thing happened to the Surrey bowler James Southerton, when playing against MCC at The Oval in 1870. Wisden 1871 explained: "Southerton cut a ball hard on the ground, which Mr [WG] Grace at point caught from the bound. Southerton thought the ball went straight from the bat to Mr Grace's hands, but neither of the umpires, point, nor any other man but Southerton thought so (Mr Grace did not toss up the ball); however, Southerton walked away, and although called back, did not walk back, so he lost his innings."

Obstructing the field... twice
Obstructing the field is one of cricket's rarest dismissals, as Mark Ramprakash found out last summer in Cheltenham, when he became only the 22nd batsman ever to be given out this way in first-class cricket. But that list contains one name twice: Tom Straw, a Worcestershire wicketkeeper, was given out against Warwickshire in 1899, when he prevented a fielder from taking a catch... and, remarkably, fell the same way two years later, with Warwickshire again the opponents.

Stuck in aeroplane
Vasbert Drakes, the West Indian fast bowler, is one of the very few people in first-class cricket to have been timed out, a dismissal that only entered the lawbook in 1980. Drakes' case was even stranger than most, as not only was he not on the ground at the time, he had hardly arrived in the country! He was selected to play for Border against Free State in East London in September 2002. He had been playing for West Indies in the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka but thought he could get to South Africa in time - only for his flight from Colombo to be severely delayed. Drakes missed out on batting but did take a couple of wickets on the second day.

Delayed by strained groin
Not long after Drakes was the third man to be timed out in a first-class match, the much-travelled seamer AJ Harris became the fourth. Playing for Nottinghamshire against Durham University at Trent Bridge in 2003, Harris strained a groin muscle and didn't expect to bat. But the plans changed as Chris Read neared a century, and Harris (and his runner) started to get changed when the No. 10 went in. But he was out third ball: by the time Harris was ready and hobbled down the pavilion steps, he met the players and umpires (including Read, stranded on 94 not out) coming in. Harris had exceeded the three minutes stipulated for his arrival: "No one appealed," he said, "but I was given out nonetheless."

Cap on stumps
The 1960-61 "calypso cricket" series between Australia and West Indies had it all - a tie, two more nail-biting finishes, several outstanding performances... and a man given out when his cap fell on the stumps. The unfortunate batsman was Joe Solomon, opening for West Indies in the second Test in Melbourne; such was the popularity of the tourists that the bowler, Australia's captain Richie Benaud, was jeered by the crowd for appealing for what was a legitimate dismissal. The same fate befell India's Ashok Mankad at Edgbaston in 1974, when he jerked his head back while fending off a bouncer from Chris Old, and his cap fell onto the stumps.

Bowled by a passing swallow
John Inverarity, now Australia's chief selector, was surprised to be bowled for a duck by Greg Chappell while playing for Western Australia in a Sheffield Shield match against South Australia in Adelaide in 1969-70 - surprised because he hadn't followed the flight of the ball. While Inverarity was trudging off, the reason for his misjudgment was spotted: the delivery had struck and killed an unfortunate swallow, which had flown across the pitch at just the wrong moment, and the ball had been diverted into the stumps. Inverarity was recalled, and went on to score 89.

Bowled by one that bounced behind the stumps
No, it wasn't Shane Warne's latest "new" delivery... this happened in a County Championship match at Lord's in 1948, when the New Zealander Martin Donnelly, playing for Warwickshire, was hit on the foot by the Middlesex and England slow left-armer Jack Young. The ball looped up over the stumps, bounced behind them... and then, probably because of back-spin, fizzed back and dislodged the bails. Donnelly was out for 55.

Jaw before wicket
Not all leg-before-wicket decisions involve the leg: Sachin Tendulkar was once famously given out in a Test when ducking down to a ball from Glenn McGrath that hit him on the shoulder. That probably hurt a bit, but not quite as much as when Tom Pugh, Gloucestershire's amateur captain, ducked a full-toss from the tall Northamptonshire and England fast bowler David Larter, during a county match in Peterborough in 1961. The ball hit Pugh flush on the jaw, breaking it in two places - and to add insult to injury he was also given out lbw.


Martin Donnelly
Martin Donnelly: bowled from behind the stumps © Getty Images
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"That's close enough for me"
It wasn't just Australians in the Bodyline series who weren't terribly keen on facing Harold Larwood at his fastest. During a county match at Grace Road in 1928, the Leicestershire fast bowler Haydon Smith sent down a few bouncers, before his batsmen reminded him who was lurking in the opposition ranks. When Smith came out to bat later, Nottinghamshire's fielders were quick to inform Larwood who the new arrival was. Duncan Hamilton's superb 2009 biography of Larwood takes up the story: "Larwood's opening ball reared past Smith's face. He didn't see it, but felt the cold air as it rushed past him. The second took the edge as Smith backed off towards square leg. The ball shot towards gully, where Sam Staples caught it on the bounce. Smith began to pull off his gloves and walk off. 'Wait a minute,' Staples shouted. 'It was a bump ball. I didn't catch it.' 'Yes, you f***ing well did,' said Smith, not daring to look back."

*(Just to spoil a good story, Wisden has no record of Smith ever being caught by Staples off Larwood. Another book says Smith hurried off after edging a catch to the keeper which bounced in front of him, saying it was at Trent Bridge in 1928: and Smith is indeed down as caught behind off Larwood in that match.)

Too late to bat
Alfred Boardman was a batsman who played ten matches for Surrey in the 19th century without much success - his highest score was 33 and he averaged less than 10. And his debut was rather unusual: summoned to play at Trent Bridge, he missed the start - and, because Surrey were shot out for 45, didn't have the chance to bat. Wisden records him as "had not arrived". He did manage 10 not out in the second innings, though.

Stumps broken by flying glove
Playing for Derbyshire against county champions Surrey at The Oval in 1953, Derbyshire's Alan Revill thought it was bad enough when he received a painful rap on the hand from a ball from Alec Bedser. But things soon got worse: while he was wringing his hand in discomfort, his glove flew off, back onto the stumps, and dislodged a bail. Revill, out hit-wicket, had plenty of time to inspect the damage back in the pavilion.

*April 2, 7.00GMT: The Wisden reference in the Smith-Larwood entry was added later to the column

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012.

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Posted by Ramjee1975 on (April 5, 2012, 2:07 GMT)

On Maninder Singh's dismissal in the 1986 Lord's test, here is the sequence of events.

Maninder edges a delivery from the late Graham Dilley which would have been a regulation catch for the wicket keeper Bruce French. Dereck Pringle at first slip tries to catch it and makes a mess of it. Bruce French reacts in time and scoops the ball before it hits the ground. Graham Gooch at second slip is alert and uses his soccer skills by kicking the ball and then catching it at a reasonable height.

Posted by CricketPissek on (April 3, 2012, 21:01 GMT)

Mahela Jayawardene and Marvan Atapattu were 'retired out' after scoring 150 and 200 against a hapless Bangladesh in September 2001. "I'm bored now" Ouch!

Posted by Digimont on (April 3, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

In my club cricket career, I saw a few strange dismissals - timed out because the incoming batsman insisted on finishing his cigarette before walking out to bat (that one ended in a punch up with the bastman banned for life).

My personal favourite - the opposition were 2/300 something and hitting the bowling everywhere. The captain decided to bring one of the openers back, who decided he's try an over of leggies. Not being very good at it, his second or third delivery went horribly wrong and went to mid on (did not go past the bowlers stumps, so SHOULD have been a dead ball). The umpire said nothing, the batsman asked if he could hit it, was told yes, so he swaggered (literally) out to the ball, took a swing, missed, then asked "So, what happens now". The bowler walked over, said "Well, I come over to you, pick up the ball like this, throw it to the wicketkeeper, who will take off the bails, then we all go HOWISEE like that and the sqiare leg umpire puts his finger up like that"

Posted by   on (April 3, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

@bad brown-i remember that it was kumble!!!

Posted by   on (April 3, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

where is Inzamamulhaq in the list? he has been out in awkwardly more than once

Posted by T20_2007 on (April 3, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

I remember one time a famous Srilankan batsman was 'caught' off his helmet;Not knowing the rules, started to walk off. K Srikanth, current Indian selector fielding on forward short leg promptly threw the stumps down and appealed for a run out! Umpires had to give him out. Does anyone remember the incident? i'm dying to find out who the batsman was. Roy Dias, Mahanama?

Posted by balajik1968 on (April 3, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

There was one more in 1986. In the India England Lord's Test, Maninder Singh edged a ball to the keeper, who could'nt catch it, and it went on a relay upto gully before coming back to second slip where Allan Lamb took the catch.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

What about when Kaluwitharana (I think it was him) played a forward defensive against NZ and the ball got stuck between bat and pad. He held his shot, Fleming ran in and pulled it out and half appealed, and kalu was given out.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

I recall an NZ vs Sri Lanka (or india, memories a bit hazy) where an Nz bowler misgripped the ball it loooped up out of natural sight path on delivery, and the batsman trying to locate where the ball had gone, took a step back and was given out hit wicket. poor bugger

Posted by MrKricket on (April 2, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

I'd like to know how anyone with any idea of the rules of cricket could get out "hit the ball twice" and yet there are quite a few records of it. Anyone know anything about them?

Posted by montys_muse on (April 2, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

kevin pietersen's helmet came off while attemtping a hook/pull and fell over the stumps...dont remember who it was against...

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

Thilan Samaraweera was run out backing up too far at the non-strikers end in the same Galle Cricket stadium twice. The straight drive by the batsman at striker's end touched the bowlers' fingers before crashing on to the stumps with Thilan well out of crease. On first occasion against West Indies he was batting well on 52 and end result was Sri Lanka failing to pass the follow on mark by few runs. The match however ended in a draw. The most recent occasion was in the first test against England last week. He was helping Mahela to rebuild the innings after first 3 wickets fell for virtually nothing. His dismissal at 66 for 4 appeared to have created an opening for England bowlers to run through the rest of batting. But Mahela's superb 180 ably supported by others to follow ensured that Sri Lanka built a sizable score to gain first innings advantage and win the match. Has same fate happened to same batsman twice at the same cricket ground in a test match?

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (April 2, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

The comparison between Mark Waugh and Revill is rather pointless as the hit wicket rule had changed. Admittedly it's over 10 years ago but as I recall the wording of the law when Mark Waugh disturbed the stumps the batsman was out if he disturbed a bail in playing the ball or taking off for his first run immediately after playing the ball. As I recall the incident Mark Waugh was hit on the arm, then after a while while walking away from his position (but not taking a run) his arm lifted away from his body and his bat hit the stumps. Not out was the correct decision under the laws at the time

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

In the India Australia Brisbane Test in 1977-78, Dilip Vengsarkar was out ( as bowled ) when his cap fell on the stumps. India were chasing 335 to win and lost the match by a mere 16 runs despite a century from Sunil Gavaskar and a heroic innings of 88 from Syed Kirmani.

Posted by Pablo123 on (April 2, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

All very interesting....... Especially the Dean Jones one

Posted by MarkM33 on (April 2, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

I recall a NZ vs Aus(?) game where I think it was Chris Cairns was caught off a very hard cut shot. Unfortunately it was actually hit onto the close in fielder's foot, didn't touch the ground, bounced up and was caught nicely by the player at point. Very odd to watch.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (April 2, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

I must say the Smith/Larwood/Staples dismissal is the funniest thing I have heard to happen on a cricket field. @ARIF3011: It was actually in England. @TontonZolaMoukoko: Well said mate...no one cares about the recent ones because we all know about them. The only one I can recall reading about before is John Inverarity getting "bowled." @Timmuh: The better version of this was the Chris Cairns slower to Chris Read [I think it was at Lord's] when Reid ducked only to be bowled. @Nutcutlet: Many batsmen have done this.

Posted by Harlequin. on (April 2, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

I always remember a school match I was playing in, when one of our batsmen took a beamer to the face, was knocked out and fell back onto his stumps!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

SA fans sometimes cite the Revill dismissal in 1953 as a precedent for why Mark Waugh should have been given out in the 3rd test at Adelaide in 1998 (which would have probably let SA share the series). Waugh was hit on the forearm by Donald and, shaking his arm in pain, dlslodged the bails with his bat- but was given not out

Posted by RAJEESHKUMAR on (April 2, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

In an ODI against India, Kumar Sangakkara got out as his bat slipped from his hands, looped over his head and fell on the stumps while he was attempting a shot.

Posted by Markdal on (April 2, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

Firstly - Pradeep, get over yourself, I'm not a Ponting fan either but please NEVER call a cricketer a 'cheat', especially from behind a keyboard. Secondly, with the last dismissal, off Bedser, it wouldn't be out under today's Laws. To be out 'Hit Wicket', you now need to be either in the act of playing the ball or setting off for your first run to be a chance, so that batsman was both unlucky and ahead of his time!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (April 2, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

The late and much lamented Kenny Barrington was known to have given himself out lbw without waiting for the umpire's finger!

Posted by smudgeon on (April 2, 2012, 9:30 GMT)

Thanks for remembering Richard Soule, Timmuh :)

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (April 2, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

Something similar to the Smith/Larwood incident happened in a West Indies-England ODI in 1986. According to Allan Lamb he was a tad worried at seeing Malcolm Marshall famously rearrange Mike Gatting's nose ("where exactly did it hit you?"), and so a little later decided to walk even he hadn't actually edged it. @Shankar Athreya: the incident where Inzaman fell on his stumps in 2006 actually did not happen in the forfeited test at the Oval, but in the previous test at Headingley.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

Might I add the unusual run out of Dean Jones in test no.1167, West Indies vs Australia (2nd test, Guyana, 1991). Jones was bowled by Walsh off a no ball, set off for the pavillion, and Hooper pulled out a stump before Jones realised what was going on, and couldn't get back in time. However, the umpires later admitted they had made a mistake, as, according to law 38.2, a batsman cannot be given out off a no ball unless he attempts to run.

Posted by almeda_riddle on (April 2, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

A more tragic scorecard entry was "Abdul Aziz absent dead" after being struck on the chest.

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (April 2, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

Inzi was also got out on obstructing the field twice. Once he was obstructing and 2nd time he took an evasive action.

Posted by Timmuh on (April 2, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Tasmanian wicket-keeper Richard Soule ducked under what appeared to be a Steve Waugh bean ball in a limited overs game, only to find himself bowled by a what was slower, very high, full toss which dropped. Not quite the primary school "donkey-dropper", but as close as is ever likely with professional players.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

That's close enough for me is hilarious! Smith probably didn't find it as funny. I remember avery funny run-out. This included Inzamam, obviously. Yousuf tapped the ball and started running when Inzi said yes. Half way through, Inzi suddenly decides to turn back and both are running to the same end. Both of them end up short and the third umpire has to look frame by frame to look who was farther from the crease. Inzi is closer and gets saved. Yousuf was not so lucky.

Posted by ARIF3011 on (April 2, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Rahul Dravid, recently in Australia, caught off his shoe laces, walked off thinking he had nicked the ball. Later, he commented, after seeing the replays, that he should have taken referral.

Posted by Headbandenator on (April 2, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Ray East vs Shuttlworth...

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

what about AB Devilliers getting out to Md. Ashraful in SA tour of Bangladesh, when the ball bounced twice?

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Lovely article! May I add the following? In 1899 Prince Ranjitsinhji arranged a tour to the USA and Canada. Towards the end of the tour a couple of players; A.C.MacLaren (supposedly captain as Ranji was not playing) and A.Priestly, preferred to watch a race for America's Cup and were duly recorded as "absconded 0".

Posted by TontonZolaMoukoko on (April 2, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

I was waiting for the inevitable "what about this incident that happened in recent international cricket that everyone knows about" comments and they didn't take long. The best thing about this excellent list is that I only knew of one or two of the incidents before and they're all amusing tales, well done!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Adam Parore got a bouncer from brett lee... ducked into it & got hit in the head, only for his helmet to fall on the stumps

Posted by Belltower on (April 2, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

what about the one where Gilchrist walked after the ball went to first slip, it actually pitched in the rough and because Gilly hit the ground as well he assumed he was out, replays clearly showed he hadn't got near it

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

Adam Gilchrist 2003 world cup semi final even tv replays could not prove him out, and Gilchrist walked and got told off for this by CHEATY Ponting at post match conference.

Posted by ankr77 on (April 2, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

it would be great if you had the videos of these dismissal...whichever available :)

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

I could recollect a few more. Mohinder Amarnath wearing his sola hat and getting out to Hogg in Mumbai in 1979. Inzi falling all over his wicket against Monty in the famous "walk out" test in Oval in 2006. KP against Sammy in Manchester in 2007 when his Helmet fell down and hit his wicket. Can we add Kumble dismissal by Andre Adams in an ODI in 2003, when the ball bounced more than once?

Posted by Jwara on (April 2, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

smith/larwood dismissal just killed me with laughter..

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Steven LynchClose
Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.
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