Obstructing the bowler

In a recent one-day international the bowler took a valid return catch just as the non-striker collided with him.  He held onto the ball and the striker was dismissed.  However, the commentator queried what would have happened if the bowler had dropped the ball when the non-striker collided with him.

The umpire has to decide whether the obstruction, which caused the ball to be dropped was, wilful or not.  If the umpire decides that the act was not wilful, the striker would not be given out Caught and the non-striker would not be given out Obstructing the field.

If the action by the non-striker was regarded by the umpire as wilful, then because it is a catch that is obstructed, the STRIKER will be given out Obstructing the field even though the non-striker caused the deliberate obstruction.

Read more about Law 37 (Obstructing the field) at the MCC website