Index

Bat-pad

Owner: B Aitken

One of the most difficult decisions for even the most experienced umpire is answering what commentators call a 'bat-pad' appeal. This is where the striker plays at the ball with the bat very close to his pads. If the ball is then caught there is usually a loud appeal, but the umpire has to assess what actually happened in that split-second. If the ball hit the bat, even if it also hit the pad first, afterwards or at the same time, and a fair catch was taken, then the striker should be given out Caught. If the ball hit only the pad the striker could still be out - but LBW, not Caught.
It is not just the umpire's eyesight that needs to be up to the mark, but his hearing, too. Umpires will listen carefully to try to pick up the different sounds of ball hitting bat or ball hitting pad.
TV viewers usually have the luxury of slow-motion replays that can sometimes - but not always - show what happened. Umpires don't. They see - and hear - everything just once - in real-time.