In a bizarre situation in Australia’s Melbourne, Moonee Valley batsman Jatinder Singh found himself in a peculiar position when during a match against Strathmore Heights his middle stump is dislodged by the bowler but the bails somehow remained in place.
The “gravity-defying” incident took place in the winter competition in Melbourne’s north-west, when Singh was technically clean-bowled by the Strathmore Heights bowler.
The situation though led to some serious deliberation among the umpires as cricket rules state that bails must be dislodged by the bowler in order to get the batsman out.
After some discussion among the officials, the umpires decided to give Singh out, though based on books and rules, they could have gone the other way and come to the opposite conclusion.
You see Law 28 of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) Laws of Cricket states, “the disturbance of a bail, whether temporary or not, shall not constitute its complete removal from the top of the stumps.” translating to – just because the bails moved, it doesn’t necessarily mean the batsman is out.
What is more the MCC law further states “if both bails remain ‘on top’ of the stumps, or if any part of a displaced bail is above unbroken stumps, the stumps are not deemed to be ‘down’.”
In Singh’s case, both bails were “on top” of the stumps and the bails weren’t “displaced”, so on a mere technicality, they remained “unbroken stumps”.
On the other hand, the first part of MCC Law 28 also states that a wicket is considered “down” if a stump is “struck out of the ground” so despite the bails not being dislodged, Singh was out.
The two parts of the Law thus created “the chicken and the egg situation” with the final decision resting on the umpires.
In the end, they decided to be fair to the bowler and give Singh out, who honestly had no right to feel aggrieved after being clean bowled.
The whole situation, in the end, left both the teams surprised and a little curious, with many admiring as to how the situation was created in the first place.
“We had no idea what the actual ruling on it was, but we all admired it for a few minutes. You probably couldn’t do that again if you tried. We weren’t sure if maybe (the stumps) were put it at a slight angle so there was just a little bit of pressure. When they were sitting on the stumps, they were in the grooves. It wasn’t like the middle of the bails were above the stumps or anything. The ball had to have hit at the exact right point that the stump didn’t fly up, it went down.” – Michael Ozbun, Captain, Moonee Valley