Index

Obstructing the field, Distracting fielders



Obstructing the field is an uncommon form of dismissal in which either batsman can be given out for wilfully obstructing or distracting anyone on the fielding side. The obstruction or distraction must be deliberate, not accidental, and it can relate to words as well as deeds - a distracting shout by a batsman is regarded as an obstruction, too. Frequently the umpires will consult with each other before giving a decision on whether the obstruction was wilful or not.
Any runs that were completed before an obstruction will count, unless it was a possible catch that was obstructed. If that happens no runs are scored and it is always the striker who should be given out, even if it was the non-striker who created the obstruction in the first place! This is not as bizarre as it might first appear at first reading. If the striker had been caught, it would have been him, not the non-striker, who was out, and no runs ever count from a hit that is subsequently caught fairly.
A batsman picking up the ball or hitting it with his bat to return it to the fielding side without permission is vulnerable to be given out, on appeal, for Obstructing the field.