Pakistan star Saim Ayub had an awkward moment on the field while he was running to prevent a ball from crossing the boundary. As Ayub’s foot got stuck into the field, a piece uprooted, triggering a scary tumble from the Pakistan star. While no serious damage was done, the ball did touch Ayub’s cap in the process. However, the match officials refused to award a 5-run penalty to the Australian team. Cricket Australia later clarified why.
Ayub hasn’t had the most enjoyable debuts a player would hope, having failed to contribute with the bat while also being at the center of some fielding fumbles. Thankfully, he didn’t incur a serious injury despite the nasty tumble on the field.
As questions arose on social media about Australia not earning a 5-run penalty despite the ball touching Ayub’s cap, Cricket Australia issued an explanation.
“For those asking: It’s not a five-run penalty for hitting the cap as the contact between ball and hat was accidental, and nor was the cap deliberately left on the field, as helmets tend to be,” a post on X (formerly Twitter) from Cricket Australia read.
For those asking: It’s not a five-run penalty for hitting the cap as the contact between ball and hat was accidental, and nor was the cap deliberately left on the field, as helmets tend to be #AUSvPAK https://t.co/BFcgfoKnnT
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 5, 2024
What does the law for penalty runs in this case say?
The MCC Law 28.3 explains penalty runs in such cases.
28.3.1 Protective helmets, when not in use by fielders, may not be placed on the ground, above the surface except behind the wicket-keeper and in line with both sets of stumps.
28.3.2 If the ball while in play strikes the protective helmet, placed as described in 28.3.1, the ball shall immediately become dead and, unless 28.3.3 applies:
– the umpire shall signal No ball or Wide to the scorers, if applicable
– the umpire shall award 5 Penalty runs to the batting side
– any runs completed by the batters before the ball strikes the protective helmet shall be scored, together with the run in progress if the batters had already crossed at the instant of the ball striking the protective helmet.
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