March 31, 2013

Allow lbws outside off even if the batsman offers a shot

Too many players escape being dismissed by pretending to play the ball
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The lbw law, with all its clauses and complex quirks, is perhaps the most colourful sub-chapter in cricket's rule book. It is also the most stringent yardstick with which to judge an umpire's - or a fan's - pedigree. Behind the layers of complexity, though, Law 36 is also a logical and cogent set of rules. One part, however, doesn't quite add up.

Assume the following scenario on a wearing pitch affording a lot of spin: An offspinner delivers from over the stumps, wide of the crease, and lands the ball a good three feet wide of off stump, a smidgen short of driving length. The right-hand batsman lunges forward from the crease, aware that he can't get to the pitch of the ball and that the offbreak is going to turn in sharply. Silly point and short leg crouch in attendance, waiting for the edge.

The batsman figures two options. One, offer his front pad and shoulder arms, a response that will negate the close-in fielders but could leave him plumb if the ball turns in sufficiently. Option two is more practical, to lunge ahead with bat and pad close together, hoping to play with the bat, but with the security of the pad to protect the stumps.

For the sake of our little exercise, let's ignore whether the batsman played a shot or not. All we know is that he was hit on the pad, a full foot outside the line of off stump, no bat involved. Let's take the DRS out of the equation: everyone involved knows for a fact that the ball is headed for the middle of middle.

As Law 36 stands, the umpire's ruling depends on whether the batsman was making a "genuine attempt to play the ball with his bat". The law, however, doesn't explain why this is of import. It also leaves the judgement of what constitutes a genuine attempt to play the ball squarely on the umpire.

In plainspeak, this is what the law tells the bowler when the impact is outside the line of the stumps: We know you have beaten the bat. Yes, the ball is headed for the stumps. We are aware that the batsman has, in effect, used his pad (or some part of his body) to protect his stumps. Yet, you won't get the wicket, since the batsman was attempting to play a shot when he was beaten. Deal with it.

It's bad enough that the law protects a beaten batsman on the curious premise that he was attempting to play a shot. What makes matters worse is that batsmen - especially in the non-DRS part of the world - can get away with merely pretending to play a shot. Lean forward, push the pad outside the line of the stumps, hide the bat safely behind, and pad the ball away - can it get any easier? Umpires are far less likely to rule in a bowler's favour when this happens than when the batsman blatantly avoids playing a shot. Commentators and spectators, too, tend to be more lenient towards the pretend-shot than the shouldering of arms.

What constitutes a fair attempt at shot-making is debatable at the best of times. Interestingly, it is a call that the umpire doesn't have to make "if the point of impact is between wicket and wicket". A batsman can be out lbw even if he is playing a shot, as long as he is hit in line with the stumps. The more prodigiously a bowler deviates the ball sideways, the more likely he is to pass (and beat) a batsman outside the line of the stumps, than a bowler who spins it less. In other words, a batsman playing a shot is more likely to be out lbw to an arm ball (or a topspinner) than to an offbreak (or legbreak).

Why this discrimination against the bigger spinner of the ball? Again, the MCC manual doesn't throw light.

Perhaps, back in the day of uncovered wickets, this law gave batsmen some respite on pitches with unpredictable cut and seam. That day is well and truly in the past. Today, a bowler has to deal with short boundaries, big bats, flat pitches, and a bunch of other developments that pamper the batsman. It might be a good time to ease the bowler's burden by deleting the "attempting a shot" clause altogether. To save a batsman for attempting a shot is to reward him for intention rather than action.

Nitin Sundar is a social media manager at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY RGRG on | April 3, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    I will be happier if they also add a "Rules I'd not change" section.

  • POSTED BY Soso_killer on | April 1, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    I completely disagree with this article. If thats the case "a ball beating the bat is out" then a ball hitting the stumps pitching outside leg should be out as well why the double standards?

    People are talking about blind spots thats nonsense. Here is good example J. Khan bowled a peach of a delivery to Amla in the last ODI in Benoni and was given out, on review it showed it marginaly pitched outside leg. Let me tell you Amla saw that ball he just was not good enough to play it, "blind spots" had nothing to do with anything. Junaid is a left arm seamer he was well within his right to pitch the ball were he did, it had nothing to do with negative bowling. Let us leave things the way they are, if a bowler is good enough then he will get his wickets Steyn has a S.R of 40 in a batsmen era by the way, the last thing we want is a trundler to look like a great when he is not. The only thing i would change is flat tracks, lets produce conducive wickets be it rank turners or a green decks.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | March 31, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    @AndyMick: if only life was as simple as you make out! The BCCI, however, operates on the basis of never-discuss-never-explain & thus democracy is a concept that's alien to them, despite being part of the largest democracy on the planet, or at least residing in the same country. As for the suggestion aired in this article, it's absolutely ludicrous, in common with the vast majority of the other suggested amendments that have been submitted under this 'Rules I'd Change' set of articles. Unless the umpire is in line with the angle of the ball ( silly mid-off or on the same line to mid-off) then no accurate judgement can be made as to the accuracy of this new lbw suggestion. Mind you, that wouldn't stop some umpires giving batsmen out from their usual position, so imcompetent is some of the recent umpiring witnessed on the international stage. Which brings us back to the use of technology & the reactionary resistance to it. The rule I'd change is: majority rules. But it won't happen!

  • POSTED BY Bishop on | March 31, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    Disagree. Wrong on so many levels. Not only is the umpire in totally the wrong position to judge the trajectory of a ball from outside off, but such a rule will destroy batsmanship as it currently stands, as "getting behind the ball" and "playing with bat close to pad" will be essentially meaningless. Clearing the front leg will become de rigeur and cricket will descend to the kind of T20 slugfest that I so despise. The rule I would guess was put in place to discourage negative batting more than as a reward for the bowler beating the bat. In the pre-technology days, umpires would quite often lose patience with batsmen consistently shouldering arms, and give them out (quite rightly I think) to deliveries whose trajectory was very uncertain. I've also seen (again quite rightly) players given out because the bat was tucked behind the pad (ie not genuinely playing a shot). What's next? Dismissing a batsman 'caught' for playing and missing outside off because he was "beaten"? Absurd!

  • POSTED BY KK47 on | March 31, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Good article. Another thing which should be done immediately is stop leg-byes. Why on earth should batting team get runs when the batsmen has failed to put bat on ball? The bowler has actually beaten the batsmen either by pace or spin but the team still gets away with runs down the leg side, sometimes even of the helmet! I remember a similar point was made by Steve Waugh many years ago and its high time MCC does something for the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    introduce bbw..Bat Before the Wicket......

  • POSTED BY alihassan2 on | March 31, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    What about the balls that pitch outside leg stump? The most difficult and amazing art of leg spin is negated by the fact that half of the balls pitch outside leg stump to the majority of the batsmen that are right-handers!

  • POSTED BY AndyMick on | March 31, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    This is a great idea, but will never happen whilst the BCCI are in charge of cricket as for big turning balls you would need DRS, and India, for some reason, don't like it.

    So, for this to work the ICC has to grow some courage from somewhere and allow only one set of rules on the world cricketing stage, ALL countries have DRS REGARDLESS, or NOBOBY has DRS. simple vote of he test playing nations, majority wins, end of.

  • POSTED BY ARad on | March 31, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    This is one rule that makes sense. According to the current rule, the batsman would have been given out if he was not playing a shot. This assumes that the umpire can judge the trajectory of the ball correctly even when it pitches outside off. Thus, why should the bowler be deprived of the wicket for bowling a great ball whether the batsman attempts to play or not?

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    I agree with the author. Why should the batsman be given not out to a ball pitching outside off stump just because he was playing a shot? So what? Assuming the ball was going on to hit the stumps, why should the batsman be rewarded for missing it? The rule is an anomaly that makes little sense. But I would go further than the author. I would abolish leg byes (again, why should a batsman be rewarded for missing the ball which hits him) and wides, which I would now call no balls. This would now mean a batsman cannot be stumped off a wide delivery and it would still be possible to hit a wide delivery that was called no ball.

  • POSTED BY RGRG on | April 3, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    I will be happier if they also add a "Rules I'd not change" section.

  • POSTED BY Soso_killer on | April 1, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    I completely disagree with this article. If thats the case "a ball beating the bat is out" then a ball hitting the stumps pitching outside leg should be out as well why the double standards?

    People are talking about blind spots thats nonsense. Here is good example J. Khan bowled a peach of a delivery to Amla in the last ODI in Benoni and was given out, on review it showed it marginaly pitched outside leg. Let me tell you Amla saw that ball he just was not good enough to play it, "blind spots" had nothing to do with anything. Junaid is a left arm seamer he was well within his right to pitch the ball were he did, it had nothing to do with negative bowling. Let us leave things the way they are, if a bowler is good enough then he will get his wickets Steyn has a S.R of 40 in a batsmen era by the way, the last thing we want is a trundler to look like a great when he is not. The only thing i would change is flat tracks, lets produce conducive wickets be it rank turners or a green decks.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | March 31, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    @AndyMick: if only life was as simple as you make out! The BCCI, however, operates on the basis of never-discuss-never-explain & thus democracy is a concept that's alien to them, despite being part of the largest democracy on the planet, or at least residing in the same country. As for the suggestion aired in this article, it's absolutely ludicrous, in common with the vast majority of the other suggested amendments that have been submitted under this 'Rules I'd Change' set of articles. Unless the umpire is in line with the angle of the ball ( silly mid-off or on the same line to mid-off) then no accurate judgement can be made as to the accuracy of this new lbw suggestion. Mind you, that wouldn't stop some umpires giving batsmen out from their usual position, so imcompetent is some of the recent umpiring witnessed on the international stage. Which brings us back to the use of technology & the reactionary resistance to it. The rule I'd change is: majority rules. But it won't happen!

  • POSTED BY Bishop on | March 31, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    Disagree. Wrong on so many levels. Not only is the umpire in totally the wrong position to judge the trajectory of a ball from outside off, but such a rule will destroy batsmanship as it currently stands, as "getting behind the ball" and "playing with bat close to pad" will be essentially meaningless. Clearing the front leg will become de rigeur and cricket will descend to the kind of T20 slugfest that I so despise. The rule I would guess was put in place to discourage negative batting more than as a reward for the bowler beating the bat. In the pre-technology days, umpires would quite often lose patience with batsmen consistently shouldering arms, and give them out (quite rightly I think) to deliveries whose trajectory was very uncertain. I've also seen (again quite rightly) players given out because the bat was tucked behind the pad (ie not genuinely playing a shot). What's next? Dismissing a batsman 'caught' for playing and missing outside off because he was "beaten"? Absurd!

  • POSTED BY KK47 on | March 31, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Good article. Another thing which should be done immediately is stop leg-byes. Why on earth should batting team get runs when the batsmen has failed to put bat on ball? The bowler has actually beaten the batsmen either by pace or spin but the team still gets away with runs down the leg side, sometimes even of the helmet! I remember a similar point was made by Steve Waugh many years ago and its high time MCC does something for the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    introduce bbw..Bat Before the Wicket......

  • POSTED BY alihassan2 on | March 31, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    What about the balls that pitch outside leg stump? The most difficult and amazing art of leg spin is negated by the fact that half of the balls pitch outside leg stump to the majority of the batsmen that are right-handers!

  • POSTED BY AndyMick on | March 31, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    This is a great idea, but will never happen whilst the BCCI are in charge of cricket as for big turning balls you would need DRS, and India, for some reason, don't like it.

    So, for this to work the ICC has to grow some courage from somewhere and allow only one set of rules on the world cricketing stage, ALL countries have DRS REGARDLESS, or NOBOBY has DRS. simple vote of he test playing nations, majority wins, end of.

  • POSTED BY ARad on | March 31, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    This is one rule that makes sense. According to the current rule, the batsman would have been given out if he was not playing a shot. This assumes that the umpire can judge the trajectory of the ball correctly even when it pitches outside off. Thus, why should the bowler be deprived of the wicket for bowling a great ball whether the batsman attempts to play or not?

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    I agree with the author. Why should the batsman be given not out to a ball pitching outside off stump just because he was playing a shot? So what? Assuming the ball was going on to hit the stumps, why should the batsman be rewarded for missing it? The rule is an anomaly that makes little sense. But I would go further than the author. I would abolish leg byes (again, why should a batsman be rewarded for missing the ball which hits him) and wides, which I would now call no balls. This would now mean a batsman cannot be stumped off a wide delivery and it would still be possible to hit a wide delivery that was called no ball.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    This is pointless. This mean that the batsman should be given out every time he is hit outside off stump if the ball seems to be heading in direction of the stumps. And why I point of impact 3 feet only.it can be more and then with increase in distance it is harder to predict what's gonna happen..LBW is complex enough..any attempt to tamper with it would be plain foolishness given the law's implementation is subject to perception of the umpires.

  • POSTED BY shubham.nishad on | March 31, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    Really!!! How could the author even believe that the batsman will be correctly judged out if such rule is applied. A ball landing 3 foot away will not be in line with the umpire's vision. How can be he sure that the ball will definitely hit the stumps. Even with the present rules, umpires tend to make mistakes. If such a rule is enforced, then umpires will make more and more mistakes and will even have negative impact on the result of the match. Truly an absurd suggestion.

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | March 31, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    I agree with the suggested change to the rule. I also believe that if the ball pitches in line with the stumps and is going onto hit middle stump after hitting the bat (eg: inside edge) it should also be given out. Hitting the bat should not be given as a reason why it is not out. If the batsmen drags the ball back onto his pads thats one thing, but a slight inside edge where the ball is going onto hit the stumps and his pads are used to save him, should be given out. To me a ball that is going onto hit middle stump should be given out if it lands in line OR doesnt hit the bat even if it doesnt land in line.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Wickets will fall in heaps on the subcontinent if this rule were to be applied.The contest that everyone wants to see between bat and ball,will be severely tipped in favor of ball.The 5 day game will find its' existence under grave threat. The counter argument can be that the batters adapt and start to use that bat of theirs for reasons intended,and not just as an accessory;play like VVS Laxman,Mohd.Azharuddin.But that's wishful thinking for sure.You would think if they wanted the batters doing that,they would already have got down to it.

  • POSTED BY DaveMorton on | March 31, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Great idea! Bring this in and you could have 2-day Tests, leaving more time to play the really interesting T20. Does the writer not realise that the original lbw law required the ball to pitch in line as well as be hitting? The pitching outside off but hitting pad in line was introduced in the 1930s, and more recently we've had the stuff about playing or not-playing. Each change has altered the balance in favour of the bowler, and it's now gone far enough. Big offspinner? Bowl round the wicket, as Jim Laker used to. Where's the problem? Mike Procter bowled his inswingers round the wicket, same reason.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | March 31, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Next thing you know people would say Allow LBWs for wides! Even if the batsman does not offer a shot, he should be ruled out, only if the ball is heading for the stumps. This is probably the most ridiculous rule change suggestion I have ever heard!

  • POSTED BY asumbal on | March 31, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    A good article. I support the author. The last amendment in the law came around 1976, allowing umpires to give batsmen out lbw where a shot was not attempted on a delivery pitched outside the off stump. The amendment took away a benefit available to batsmen -- this benefit (of remaining not out) to a ball pitched outside the leg stump remains available. Time for things to become tougher for batsmen and for cricket to be more competitive.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | March 31, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Big spinners of the ball have the option of going round the wicket. The current law is fine.

  • POSTED BY Eskay13 on | March 31, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    And one final point.

    The picture that the author has painted where the batsman pretends to play a shot by keeping the bat near (or behind) the pad confident that either the bat or the pad will save him, and the argument the author attempts to generate from that, is completely flawed in my view.

    In today's age, batsman are loath to lunge out in such a manner because it is exactly these lunges that result in batpad catches spinners enjoy ever so much.

    In cases where the bat is behind the pad, umpires these days are generally quite quick to pick out the fact that the batsman was indeed not making a genuine attempt to play a shot and do take the trouble to penalize him for it.

    The rule does not need tweaking. Authors should not come up with articles just because they are under pressure to write and publish.

  • POSTED BY Eskay13 on | March 31, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    One of the weakest articles I have read.

    When an offspinner pitches the delivery 3 feet outside offstump and the ball then turns in sharply and heads towards the stumps, the only person in the right position to state that the ball is heading for the "middle of middle" is Silly Mid-Off. Neither the bowler, nor the umpire is in the right position to judge if a ball is in fact heading for the stumps or not after spinning that sharply. If they cannot be sure, then they cannot give it out (benefit of doubt with the batsmen etc etc). If you have an issue with that, there is a different rule you can target.

    The exception applied when a batsman offers no shot is to ensure batsmen do not take advantage of this rule and by kicking the ball away each time.

    On whether or not a shot has been offered, I don't understand why it is inappropriate to leave "the judgement of what constitutes a genuine attempt to play the ball squarely on the umpire". They are paid to make such judgements.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Some say cricket, at a given time, is only played by two men with the bats, rest just help them playing. May be that's why all the laws are in favour of the batsmen. None the less, a good judgement and interesting point raised.

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | March 31, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Some of the earlier comments bringing the duration of the Test match into the discussion are quite entertaining. To further ensure that Test matches don't end in 2 or 3 days, I suggest let us get rid of the off and leg stump, and play with only one stump. Let us also ban the use of slips and close-in fielders, or even better, get rid of catch as a form of dismissal.

    On a more serious note, batsmen should defend their wicket with their own skill, and not by "pretending" to play a shot, which is what most of them do nowadays.

  • POSTED BY ladycricfan on | March 31, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    When the ball is pitched wicket to wicket, it is in the line of umpire's eye and it is easy for him to decide if the ball is going to hit the stumps or not. When the ball is pitched outside the off stump it is away from his eye line and decision making will become deficult.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Dr.Malik Asif Hameed Langrial : The LBW rule for balls pitching outside legstump is enforced because a player will not be able to see the ball outside his legstump purely because it is in his blind spot. it is like facing a ball being bowled behind ur back

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Dr. Malik, if LBW were allowed for balls pitching outside leg, then cricket would become six hours a day of leg-side filth from fast and slow bowlers alike to permanent 7 - 2 fields, and you would never see an off-drive or a late cut again. Even a workaday bowler like Ashley Giles cold dry up the runs by bowling left-arm over to right-handers - but at least he had to accept he wouldn't be taking any wickets.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    @kdevil3, the batters will still have a bat in hand right? They should make sure that they hit the ball with the bat..its a contest of skills and if the bowler is skillful enough to beat the bat and hit the pad why should he be denied a wicket?

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    could any one tell, why is it not LBW when the bill pitches outside the line of leg stump?

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    I agree with the author..it does not make a difference if the batsman is bowled or caught when not attempting a shot so I don't see any reason why it should matter in LBW decisions. If the ball is heading for the stumps then it should be out LBW.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Nitin's suggestion makes sense and will also give a much needed shot in the arm to bowlers - both swing and spin, who have the ability to deviate / spin the ball appreciably. Maybe even the outside the leg stump rule can re-looked at. On the same principle, if a bowler has the skill to hit the stumps from that angle, then he must be given that advantage.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Many are commenting here that tests will not last 5 days with such a change. Unless having the play run over full 5 days, and milk TV sponsorship money is the overriding criterion, cricket should be made 'even' between batsman and bowler by allowing LBWs irrespective of where the ball lands as long as it is heading towards stumps (use DRS as an aid for it) and irrespective of whether the batsman has offered (pretended) a shot or not! This will revolutionize the game and will make it much more compelling viewing. When the whole world is moving towards 'faster' things, why be rooted in the past with a rule that is probably instituted in the era of uncovered pitches. If tests get much more exciting because of changes like this there will be no need for trash like 1 day internationals and T20's.

  • POSTED BY kdevil3 on | March 31, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Poor article ....... there wil not be any slip fielders & caughtrs any more ....if done so all the blowers will go for the LBW which is easy pick

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    The original LBW law was written along the lines of "impact must be in line of wicket to wicket", which resulted in extremely negative pad-play to the ball outside off. Hence they changed it, effectively saying to batsmen that they were sick of the negative play and they wanted to encourage them to play with the bat. The change to the law was not originally written to discriminate against spinners - in fact it was of benefit to them. Yes, much of the game is becoming bat-centric, but you cannot claim this law is - it was written with bowlers in mind.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Good Point but it will be very difficult for the umpires to decide that lot spinning ball is going to hit stumps...even now in present law many times umpires go wrong...one wrong decision could change the match...which will affect gaming spirit. In my view " we are talking about the rule which is complex, difficult and pressure on umpires" This Rule will be good and effective only when we ensure that "no wrong decision" I remember when india's tour to Australia in 2008 test match in which umpire steve bucknor gave plenty of wrong decisions...which spoiled the gaming spirit.

  • POSTED BY NumberXI on | March 31, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    I think there is an interpretation error from the author of this piece. The intent of the law is that the batsman can be out LBW even if he is hit outside the line of off stump, if the umpire feels he is not offering a shot. The difference between that and merely saying "not out because he attempted a shot" is more than just merely semantic. The thinking appears to be that the batsman cannot just kick the ball away with impunity - he does so at the risk of being out. Hence this is more about introducing a disincentive for trying to block with pad - adding in the element of offering a shot is actually good for the bowler. On a turning wicket, it also comes down to the ability of the batsman to play the ball without offering a close in catch, which keeps the bowler and batsman equally interested. By removing that also, the author is essentially suggesting a "hit-pad-get-wicket" approach which will only take away the balance the present law offers.

  • POSTED BY Teachers on | March 31, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I believe that if a bowler has the skills to pitch anywhere and hit the stumps, he should be rewarded with the wicket if the ball hits the batsman on the pad. That is what LBW (leg before wicket) means. True, if this rule was brought in, matches would initially end quicker because all the umpire has to decide is whether the ball would hit the stumps or not, but gradually, batsmen will have to use the bat more often. Pads were only invented to prevent the batsman's legs being injured when struck by a ball, they were not intended as another bat!!

  • POSTED BY sportofpain on | March 31, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    I agree Nitin. I have long held this belief as well. Cricket should be a simple game - if the ball is going to hit the stumps and the pad comes in the way it should be given out - there is a reason it is called LBW - the Leg comes Before the Wicket and prevents the ball from hitting the stumps. So as sundaram530 says it as well, it should be given out. A prodigious turner of the ball should be encouraged not discouraged. It will also make cricket more interesting since more people will use their feet to get to the pitch of the ball.

  • POSTED BY kpkalathil on | March 31, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Better to give out for every ball hitting any legs whether it pitched out side off or leg. It is very easy, no confusion. Teams will be all out within 25 runs on the board! What an Idea! HAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | March 31, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Couldn't agree more, this law is outdated and nonsensical. It rewards batsmen for poor play and punishes bowlers for demonstrating skill in both spin and swing. The "pitching outside leg stump line" rule makes more sense for encouraging strokeplay and discouraging negative field settings, so that should stay. Otherwise, tell the batsman to use his bat or not complain with the call of he fails to do so. He has a bat in his hand for a reason - to use it

  • POSTED BY kdevil3 on | March 31, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    I am not a bid fan of LBW .. i think it was not introduced as a wicket ,i was introduced to make batsmen play with bat than with their body ...Please leave the Law as itself for nw ..

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | March 31, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    This happened numerously in the chennai test, I remember Lyon to tendulkar when he was over the wicket and it was quite obvious that the bat was behind the pad, it was outside the line, and you would have thought it was targeting the stumps. The Indian commentators said they would've given it out.. But I don't agree. It happened so many times across the series and were consequently not given out. It should remain this way. The tests would've lasted less than 3 days!

  • POSTED BY sundaram530 on | March 31, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    I would go one step further, and question why a batsman should get away with deliberately padding away a ball pitched outside the leg stump. If the ball was going to hit the wicket, it should be out LBW regardless of where it pitched. As Nitin points out, these LBW rules are not fair to a genuine turner of the ball.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    On pitches with any help to the bowler, teams would be shot out within 100 runs. It would be a lame rule change.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    If pitching outside the line and hitting the pads outside the line and going on to hit the stumps were made legal, tests in India would end in 2.5 days.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Excellent , superb article , i was just amazed why this thing is not written in press and especially by a reputed site like Cricinfo, and its a great article .

    I had this same thinking for a long time in my mind and this article covers all points , Cricinfo please send this article to MCC/ICC , this is one law which need to be altered to make game more interesting.

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  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Excellent , superb article , i was just amazed why this thing is not written in press and especially by a reputed site like Cricinfo, and its a great article .

    I had this same thinking for a long time in my mind and this article covers all points , Cricinfo please send this article to MCC/ICC , this is one law which need to be altered to make game more interesting.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    If pitching outside the line and hitting the pads outside the line and going on to hit the stumps were made legal, tests in India would end in 2.5 days.

  • POSTED BY on | March 31, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    On pitches with any help to the bowler, teams would be shot out within 100 runs. It would be a lame rule change.

  • POSTED BY sundaram530 on | March 31, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    I would go one step further, and question why a batsman should get away with deliberately padding away a ball pitched outside the leg stump. If the ball was going to hit the wicket, it should be out LBW regardless of where it pitched. As Nitin points out, these LBW rules are not fair to a genuine turner of the ball.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | March 31, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    This happened numerously in the chennai test, I remember Lyon to tendulkar when he was over the wicket and it was quite obvious that the bat was behind the pad, it was outside the line, and you would have thought it was targeting the stumps. The Indian commentators said they would've given it out.. But I don't agree. It happened so many times across the series and were consequently not given out. It should remain this way. The tests would've lasted less than 3 days!

  • POSTED BY kdevil3 on | March 31, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    I am not a bid fan of LBW .. i think it was not introduced as a wicket ,i was introduced to make batsmen play with bat than with their body ...Please leave the Law as itself for nw ..

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | March 31, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Couldn't agree more, this law is outdated and nonsensical. It rewards batsmen for poor play and punishes bowlers for demonstrating skill in both spin and swing. The "pitching outside leg stump line" rule makes more sense for encouraging strokeplay and discouraging negative field settings, so that should stay. Otherwise, tell the batsman to use his bat or not complain with the call of he fails to do so. He has a bat in his hand for a reason - to use it

  • POSTED BY kpkalathil on | March 31, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Better to give out for every ball hitting any legs whether it pitched out side off or leg. It is very easy, no confusion. Teams will be all out within 25 runs on the board! What an Idea! HAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • POSTED BY sportofpain on | March 31, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    I agree Nitin. I have long held this belief as well. Cricket should be a simple game - if the ball is going to hit the stumps and the pad comes in the way it should be given out - there is a reason it is called LBW - the Leg comes Before the Wicket and prevents the ball from hitting the stumps. So as sundaram530 says it as well, it should be given out. A prodigious turner of the ball should be encouraged not discouraged. It will also make cricket more interesting since more people will use their feet to get to the pitch of the ball.

  • POSTED BY Teachers on | March 31, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I believe that if a bowler has the skills to pitch anywhere and hit the stumps, he should be rewarded with the wicket if the ball hits the batsman on the pad. That is what LBW (leg before wicket) means. True, if this rule was brought in, matches would initially end quicker because all the umpire has to decide is whether the ball would hit the stumps or not, but gradually, batsmen will have to use the bat more often. Pads were only invented to prevent the batsman's legs being injured when struck by a ball, they were not intended as another bat!!