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The laugh's on Hacker

Joy to the world, it's a catch off a no-ball

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

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It was one of my early seasons in domestic cricket. Yorkshire were batting against Nottinghamshire in a limited-overs match at Trent Bridge. The Yorkshire fans who had come for the game were a vocal lot and had settled themselves behind the straight boundary. The Notts fielder who bore the brunt of their banter was Peter Hacker, stationed at long-on. Hacker got a bit fidgety, but he didn't react apart from that. Then came the most hilarious scene I have seen.

Graham Stevenson smashed a ball over the bowler's head and Hacker caught it. He immediately turned around and celebrated wildly, as if to get back for all the booing. But as Hacker gesticulated madly and screamed at the fans, he had no idea that the umpire had called a no-ball and that the batsmen were still running. Everyone in the ground knew that it was a no-ball, except for poor Hacker, who went on for almost half a minute. The batsmen finally stopped running because they were laughing so hard. I didn't play that game, but I will never forget the scene.

As told to Siddhartha Vaidyanathan. This article was first published in Wisden Asia Cricket magazine

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