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Proper delivery?

Owner: B Aitken

A bowler bowls a No ball and during his delivery stride, the ball had slipped out of his hand and went beyond the edge of the pitch. What action should the umpire take?


The answer to your question depends on whether or not the ball has been properly delivered, and that is a decision that can be made only by the umpire on the day with all the facts before him. However, let us consider some possibilities

1. Let us suppose that the umpire considers the ball to have been properly delivered.
You say the ball went beyond the edge of the pitch. That does not necessarily make it a Wide, though it is likely to be one. Unless there are some strange playing conditions it doesn't make it a No ball either. If the ball does not come to rest before passing the line of the striker's wicket without him having made contact with it, then the umpire does nothing other than deal with it as a normal No ball or Wide.

It cannot, of course, be a Wide if it is a No ball.

2. Again assume the ball has been properly delivered
If it comes to rest before reaching the line of the striker's wicket, the umpire will call and signal No ball - unless that has already been done for some other reason - and immediately call and signal Dead ball.

3. If the umpire considers that the ball has not been properly delivered nor has it been thrown by the bowler towards the striker's end before he enters his delivery stride, then it will not be considered a No ball, the umpire will simply a call and signal Dead ball.

4. If the bowler has thrown the ball towards the striker's wicket before entering his delivery stride, the umpire will call and signal No ball. If the ball comes to rest before reaching the line of the striker's wicket, then the umpire will call and signal Dead ball. In case No ball has been called before the ball came to rest before reaching the line of the striker's wicket, whilst there is no requirement to call No ball a second time, no harm would come from doing it, and it would emphasise the reason for the call of Dead ball.

Read more about Law 24 (No ball) at the MCC website