Wicket Keeper. The only member of the fielding team that’s allowed to wear gloves and leg pads. The wicket keeper has to remain behind the wicket when the ball is in play and can only come forward when:
- The ball touches the bat or body of the striker.
- The ball passes the wicket.
- A run is attempted by the striker. The keeper is also allowed to come a few steps forward during the bowling of a slower delivery but cannot make large movements forward while the ball is being delivered.
The Fielder. A fielder can use any part of his body to stop the ball. However the fielder cannot intentionally use any other methods to stop the ball. This includes any clothes or equipment that is not attached to the fielder. If this law is violated the batting side is awarded 5 runs. The fielder cannot make major changes in position while the ball is being delivered as this would result in a dead ball. At the moment the ball is delivered there cannot be more than 2 fielders on the leg side behind the popping crease. If this law is broken it would result in a No ball being called.
Fair and unfair play. It is the responsibility of the captain, umpires and players to ensure that the game is conducted in a fair, sportsmanlike manner where the spirit of the game is upheld. The condition of the ball cannot be altered in a manner that would give an unfair advantage to one side.
If a deliberate attempt to distract the batsman is made the fielding side is warned once and a five run penalty is awarded on any subsequent attempt and further action will be taken by higher authorities. A similar penalty is given for obstruction of the striker.
Bowling dangerously such as fast short pitched balls and full pitched balls above the batsman’s waist are punishable (see No ball rule). If during an over a bowler repeatedly wastes time or bowl’s dangerously the bowler maybe be disallowed to complete the over and not bowl again for the rest of the innings. If a bowler is called off then another bowler who has not bowled the previous over must complete the over.
If there is time wasting by the batting or fielding side a penalty will be given at the umpire’s discretion. Generally it is expected that the batsman is ready to bat as soon as the bowler’s run up begins. If a batsman is guilty of wasting time a first and final warning is given to the whole team including subsequent batsmen. A further offence results in 5 run penalty being awarded to the bowling team.
If damage to the pitch can be caused that could have been avoided action will be taken by the umpires. If it is by the batsman there will be a five run penalty awarded to the opposing team after two warnings. If by a bowler two warnings are issued before being removed from bowling for the rest of the innings. A fielder damaging the pitch intentionally is given a first and final warning and a five run penalty is awarded to the batting side on every subsequent attempt.
If a batsman attempts to run while the bowler enters his run up a dead ball will be called and the batsmen will be switched ends upon which a 5 run penalty will be awarded to the fielding side unless the bowler attempts to run him out.
If a player acts in an unprofessional manner that would bring the game into disrepute this can also lead to action being taken against that player. If a player deliberately gives away runs, drops catches or gives away his wicket he can be banned from the rest of the innings and further action will be taken by the responsible cricketing body.
The appendices of the Laws of the Game contain detailed information about the dimensions of stumps and bails at junior and senior levels; the bowling and batting creases; wicket keepers equipment; and definition of terms.
More details and interpretations of the Code of Laws are given on the MCC website, umpire signals for most rules can also be found here