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Clearing up the 'laws' of the game

So much angst, so much anger. So much emotion. Too much ignorance.

People wouldn’t have been so animated about Stuart Broad’s refusal to walk and the various DRS controversies in the first Ashes test if they were just a bit clearer about the Laws of the Game and how they have been interpreted for centuries.

Here are a few of the basic fundamentals which should be borne in mind the next time there is a ‘controversy.’

‘Thin’ edges and ‘thick’ edges are entirely different. They are so different they are virtually different modes of dismissal.

OK, technically the ball has still hit the bat and has been caught by a fielder, but don’t be confused – one is the fault of the batsman, the other the skill of the bowler.

It is regarded as perfectly normal to leave thin edges to the umpires to adjudicate on while thick edges involve a batsman’s moral conscience.

Appealing for lbw or a bat-pad catch against a batsman when you know he is ‘not out’ is not cheating. It is a legitimate part of the game. Unless you do it too much in which case the umpires can (but never do) take action under the Unsportsmanlike Conduct clause.

Claiming a catch after the ball has touched the ground is the most grievous form of cheating in the game.

Intimidating the umpire with repetitive, aggressive appealing is not cheating.

Claiming a catch when the batsman has clearly not hit the ball (ie off his thigh pad down the leg side) is not cheating.

Telling a batsman that his mother is a 'sleeparound' and his brother isn’t, in fact, his brother, is also fine. But indicating, in any way, that you believe the umpire has incorrectly given you out is taboo.

The International Cricket Council will stop at nothing to introduce the very latest in science and technology to improve the chances of making correct umpiring decisions – but they will leave its operation in the hands of men who were employed as umpires, not scientists.

Hope that helps.

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